By Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon
As Africa and indeed the world celebrates the uncommon achievement of our own Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first black female to sit as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO), I want to use this opportunity to bring to the fore the problems the girl child is faced with, which are surmountable if careful plans are put in place.
Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure and violence. Therefore, their education is supposed to be a strategic development priority in developing nations like Nigeria.
The Ministry of Education ought to work closely with other sister agencies and development organizations on girls’ education issues to identify and advance interventions that will improve girls’ education outcomes and provide resources for support.
These can come in terms of manpower provisions, reading materials provisions, uniforms provisions, transportation, grants and even feeding while in school. This will help in encouraging the enrolment of the girl child.
There should be tools readily available to identify critical gender disparities and the factors contributing to them while channeling insights into Nigeria’s education sector plans.
There should also be research to produce Economic Impacts of Child Marriage in the country. This phenomenon has stopped child education in most parts of the country where kids as young as 8, 9 or so are given out for marriage. It must be discouraged.
As I congratulate this amazon of a woman with an intimidating curriculum vitae, I want her to continue to use her lofty position to shine on the girl child as to be their moral compass, not just in Nigeria, but all over the world. I am optimistic that with her as an example, the girl child education has prospects.