Mr Raheem Olawuyi, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, on Sunday called for improvement in girl-child education.
Olawuyi, who represents Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency, made the call in a message to mothers as they join their counterparts globally to celebrate the 2020 International Mother’s Day in Omu-Aran.
According to him, education is the bedrock and foundation for achieving socio-economic development and girl-child education will allow for the emergence of more entrepreneurs and politicians among women.
“Education is meant for all. In fact, it is the fundamental human right of every child whether boy or girl, able or disabled, to acquire basic education.
“Improvement in girl-child education in particular will see more women climbing to the top in the nation’s political terrain and emerging captains of industries,” he said.
Olawuyi said that growing up as a girl in developing country like Nigeria was becoming difficult due to unfavourable socio-economic, cultural and security challenges.
He said that the cumulative effects of discriminatory, exploitative and unjust treatment of the girl-child has negative impacts on the education opportunity for them.
The lawmaker said that there was need for a strong political will and commitment from mothers, as first teachers, in actualising the desired improvement in Girls Education Projects.
“Majority of the nation’s top political positions are currently dominated by men.
“This is a clear challenge to the women folk, who as mothers of the nation, deserve same equal and fair treatment.
“To majority of the parents, girl-child education is less important because no matter what level of education the girl attains, she gets married and answers another family’s name.
“Parents, particularly mothers, should therefore accord priority and channel adequate resources toward improving the education of girl-children for more women as entrepreneurs and politicians to emerge,” he said.
Olawuyi urged mothers to strive collectively with stakeholders toward breaking the barriers of religious misinterpretation, cultural practice, poverty, early marriage, illiteracy and inadequate school infrastructure militating against girl-child education.
“According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s recent reports, a child born to a mother who can read and write is 50 per cent more likely to survive past the age of five.
“Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.
“Girls with eight years of education are four times less likely to marry as children.
“A girl-child with nine years of education can earn 20 per cent more as an adult.
“If every woman in Sub-Saharan Africa completed their primary school education, maternal mortality would fall by 70 per cent.
“The above statistics is no doubt a big challenge to mothers and other critical stakeholders as we join hands to promote girl-child education in the spirit of the Mother’s Day celebration,” he said.
Olawuyi stressed the need for more women in such critical sectors as agriculture, human capital development, manufacturing, skills and vocations in moving the country forward.
He also advocated building institutional capacity for promoting girl-child education and capacity of stakeholders.
Olawuyi advised Nigerian mothers, irrespective of their ethno-religious, cultural, and political background, to reflect on the Mother’s Day celebration and rise up in offering workable solutions to the nation’s socio-economic challenges. (NAN)