By Charles Agwam
Bauchi – The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has urged the Bauchi State government to give priority to education, especially girl child education in the State.
The Chief of Bauchi Field Office, Bhanu Pathak who was represented by the Education Specialist from the Organization, Mairama Bukar Dikwa made the plea yesterday during a Youths Advocacy Conference in Bauchi, in collaboration with Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB to commemorate the ‘Day of the African Child’.
In a 3 day workshop tagged “Mobilizing Nigeria’s Youths for Increased Access to Safe, Quality Education for All, Especially Girls” for students of tertiary institutions and other youth groups across the State, Dikwa said the objectives of the workshop was to create platform for discussion, increase capacity of youths for effective advocacy and empower youths to demand for their rights, particularly for the girl child.
She stressed the need to get the 1.3 million out-of-school children back in their classrooms, while urging government to remove all barriers preventing girls involvement in education.
“Bauchi State has the highest number of out-of-school children in the country. Apart from low budget allocation for education, there are inadequate facilities for learning. Only 32 percent of teachers are female, and the pupils-teacher ratio is not favourable.
“This engagement will create opportunities for Nigeria’s youths to engage community leaders and get them to affirm to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially getting out-of-school children back to their classrooms,” she said.
On his part, the Acting Chairman of SUBEB, Mansur Abubabar Abdul appealed to youths at the conference to mobilize other youths in their communities who are out-of-school to seek education, citing that education is the only way through which a society can attain development.
Speaking on behalf of youth groups, the State team lead, Salaudeen Tawakaltu encouraged her fellow youths to advocate for increased access to safe and quality education in the State.
In her remarks, she said “Youths in Bauchi have to be in the forefront for campaign/advocacy of increased access to safe and quality education for all, especially the girl child.”