By Oluwakemi Ishola
Oyo state government has re- echoed its commitment and willingness to promote and protect the rights and privileges of all children especially, girl – child education for sustainable development.
The state commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni stated this during year 2020 virtual National Children’s Day celebration held at the Ministry’s Conference room, secretariat, Ibadan.
Speaking on the theme for the year, ” Promoting Girl Child Education For Sustainable Development”, she noted that girl -child education is a vital tool for national development, hence, there is need for more girls to be involved in education, child welfare and poverty reduction stressing that education not only promotes development but also ensures that development attained is sustained.
“In many societies, there are numerous issues that prevent a girl – child from fulfilling her rights to an education which ranges from her gender to her economic condition and to our cultural beliefs
“We are also faced with many challenges such as rape, child trafficking, defilement, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation and many more.
“There are stigmas attached to the education of women and girls and as a result, untapped human potentials and gender equality are prominent even as sex trafficking, child marriage and forced prostitution can become the sad alternative to an education, ” she added.
Alhaja Sanni therefore assured that, the state government would continue to support all policies that would promote the rights and privileges of Oyo state children in the right course.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Christiana Abioye, said girl- child education is an essential tool to promote family and societal growth, discipline, development and progress of the society affirming that no society can survive without the active participation of women and girl child.
Mrs Abioye charged them to stand up for their rights and speak out as the present administration ably led by Governor Seyi Makinde is very sensitive to the issues of children.
While wishing them happy celebration, she appealed to all stakeholders to keep observing all the precautionary measures as laid down by health professional to curtail the spread of COVID 19 in our society.
In his goodwill message, a stakeholder & private orphanage home operator, Pastor Marcus Williams lauded the efforts of the state government in its efforts of rescuing teenage girls form all forms of gender based violence by giving them assurance and hope for survival.
Sofia Bankole, a girl – child who spoke on behalf of the children thanked His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde for giving all children in the state free education and textbooks.