In an apparent role play, no fewer than 30 school girls in Katsina state took over as lawmakers in the state’s assembly, on Monday, to call on the state government to provide 35 per cent appointments for women in the state’s education sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plenary was part of activities to mark the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) in Katsina.
At the Assembly, one of the young girls who sponsored the bill, Hajara Abdu, representing Mashi constituency, said that the move, if approved, was aimed at addressing issues affecting the girl-child in schools across the state.
She said that if women were given more appointments in the education sector, it would boost the enrolment of the girl child in schools.
According to her, this would encourage girl children to stay, complete and transit to senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the state.
The 30 schoolgirls were earlier trained by UNICEF, in collaboration with the state government, on digital literacy and leadership.
Similarly, Hajiya Mariatu Abdullahi, the Chairperson High-Level Women Advocate (HiLWA), while briefing newsmen on the day, tasked parents in the state against withdrawing their female children from schools for marriage.
Abdullahi said that girls who were given out for early marriage faced immediate and lifelong consequences that often truncated their education.
The IDGC celebration in Katsina was organised by HiLWA, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and UNICEF, with funding support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK.
“We don’t have problems with the enrolment of girl children, where we have problems is the transitional process of the girl child to junior and senior secondary schools.
“The girls usually disappeared during the transition to the next level of their education.
“The truth of the matter is that not one quarter of the girls get entry into the next transition of education, either they failed their examinations or their parents felt they are ripe for marriage.
“Parents should stop withdrawing their girls from school for marriage”, Abdullahi stressed.
She added that the international day of the girl-child was the right forum for awareness creation on the current economic, social and cultural challenges that young Nigerians, especially adolescent girls, faced in the country.
Abdullahi said the 30 schoolgirls were earlier selected from the Girls for Girls (G4G) focal schools in Ingawa, Kankia, Baure, Rimi and Katsina Local Government Areas of the state, and trained in digital literacy and leadership.
She revealed that five of the those trained were representing the state in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).