In a bid to ensure no child is left behind in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4—Education) Connected Development CODE, in partnership with Ayamara Foundation is empowering 50 girl-child to promote inclusion of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the country.
The organizations are facilitating a two-day Computer Appreciation Program and mentoring session for the girls aged between 10 to 18 years in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to commemorate this year’s United Nations (UN) day of the Girl-Child, tagged, ‘Our Time is now, Our Right, Our Future’.
The Executive Director of CODE and Malala Fund Global Education Champion, Hamzat Lawal, noted that with over 20 million out-of-school children, with over 50% of them are girls, mostly in northern Nigeria, the country cannot attain her full potential.
Lawal explained that education is a right and engagements like this are to inspire governments to prioritize and increase budgetary allocation to the education sector.
“As an advocate I believe it’s important to continue to engage girls like this, give them knowledge so that we can have the next astronaut, scientist come from Nigeria, particularly from the girl child”, he said.
Lawal who called for an end to child marriage, said it remained the biggest threats to the society, urging that more access to education should be given to the girls, to bring out the potentials in them.
He said “Yes, the country is poor, people are poor but girls are not supposed to be brides and we should desist from it, because the fabric of society is diminishing. If girls continue to be brides then it means our children would end up in the streets. Let us allow girls to be girls so they can flourish and grow in meeting their full potentials”.
Lawal pledged the readiness of CODE to continue to partner relevant stakeholders to pool the needed resources to enhance the capacity of women and girls, as well as work with the government to review existing laws and policies on gender parity.
The Founder, Ayamara Foundation, Dr. Stella Dorgu, said the two days ICT training would focus on computer appreciation package, and follow up with mentorship classes.
“This is because we believe like the theme of the girl child last year “Digital generation”, the girls should really be digitally savy and tomorrow, we would be talking to them about their sexuality, thereafter we followed up with mentorship classes”, Dorgu added.
One of the beneficiaries, Miss Aisha Mu’azu Zubairu, a 14-year-old Senior Secondary II student, appreciated the organizers for the training on ICT, promising to put everything learnt to practice.
“I am very glad that I’m part of it, I have learned a lot just today. I see that we still have leaders that are ready to change our future, like they said, one person can change the world and so, I want to be a girl that changes the world”
Miss Zubairu, maintained that most young girls face challenges of abuse, rape in schools, community and even at home.
She therefore called on relevant authorities to urgently address rape cases and end to early child marriage, noting that these vices have terminated the education of a lot of bright young girls who are the future of the country.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; editing Annabel Nwachukwu