BY NONYE JULIET EKWENUGO
The Lead Advocate for Keeping Girls In School (KGIS) in Africa, Dr. Mairo Mandara has disclosed that girl child education will reduce maternal and infants mortality rate.
Dr. Mandara stated this at a 3- day workshop and launching of the KGIS network in Kaduna state.
“When girls finishes their secondary education before marriage maternal and infants mortality reduces. The survival of children under 5 increases, that is when they themselves attend antenatal clinic, immunize their children, she delivers in heath facility , she does not have In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)”.
She reiterated that the “real bullet is to ensure girls remain in school until they finishes secondary education that time they are about 18 or 19 years, their pelvics are big enough to carry pregnancy and be able to deliver, they don’t have Virgina fistula”.
“The ultimate thing is to ensure that every girl finishes secondary school before marriage, in the process she also learns market relevant skills which means learning important skills like repairing of telephone, computers , how to do programming so that she will be able to get money help her and family”.
She also said that the programme engaged traditional and religious leaders because it is their community, their children and their problem, she said.
“We are getting the traditional leaders and religious leaders to be at the forefront then we will only be their followers , so government will support the initiative of traditional and religious leaders , young people, women group will also support them”.
Dr. Mandara also disclosed that the “major challenge for keeping girls out of school is poverty and culture not religion, education is for both male and female there is no distinction according to the two religion”.
She further noted that after making research there are some places it is difficult to enroll girl child in school. We are targeting those areas in Nigeria and Ethiopia, she said.
Earlier, the Emir of Argungun Alhaji
Samaila Muhammad Mera, said that the workshop is aimed at resolving the issues of keeping girls out of school, and also how to keep them educated for the benefit of the community, he said.
The Emir also identified illiteracy, insecurity and poverty as the major challenges of keeping girls out school.
On his part, the Chief Imam of Waff road Mosque Kaduna, Imam Mohammed Sani Isah called on the parents to pressurize government to sit up and put more efforts in educating girl child.
“The government is not doing enough.
We need to sensitize parents so that they can pressurize on the government to do what they are suppose to do, we need sensitization and education so that we can see the need for us to make positive pressure on the government to do their own side in this regard”.