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NGO hamps on STEM education for girl-child

…says celebrating success of female children will reduce victimisation

By Elizabeth Uwandu & Esther Oyeniyi

As part of events to mark 2019 international girl-child day, tagged, “Girl force ; unscripted, unstoppable, Coordinator, Pastor Bimbo Odukoya, PBO foundation coordinator , Mrs. Aderonke Oyelakin, the  has called for the  promotion of (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM education amongst female students in secondary schools.International Day of Girl-Child: FCT minister, Tallen, NCWD, NGOs want girls empowered

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Speaking at the Girl Empowered programme held at the multipurpose hall of the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju Lagos, that  had in attendance 1280 female student representatives from over 21 Junior and Senior secondary schools in Lagos State and 217 teachers, Oyelakin stated that a girl child must have a safe, healthy and caring environment to grow, learn and excel.  The save environment she said will  help in instilling confidence , strength and motivation for them to achieve their dream’s. “Let us celebrate the laudable achievements of our daughters to make them unstoppable” she added.

The project officer of the foundation, Mr. Ese Akpovona added all forms of gender stereotype should stop. His words: ”  Girls can be more if given the opportunity to thrive and express themselves in different fields of work including STEM.”

Delivering the keynote speech, Mr. Michael Ekwemalor, CEO of the Michael Ewemalor Foundation, called on female children to believe in their ability.

Giving credence to Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First bank group and Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance as feminine role models,Ekwemalor reiterated that ” A female in a society can be attributed to the earth’s salt, hence they remain trailblazers.”

While Mr. Olufemi Silas sensitized partners against drug abuse stating that  1 out of every 4 drug addicts was  a female; Ms. Thursdaline Peters, Taekwondo coach and self- defense expert , gave tips on how a girl child can protect themselves against sexual abuse. Explaining self-defense as the defense of one’s self or loved one from confrontational action or speech, she reeled out the ABCD of self-defense as; A- Avoidance and Awareness, B- Be Calm, Be Bold, Breathe In and Breathe Out (this will help to create calmness before taking action), C- Communicate with confidence, D- Defense (This should be used when A B and C are not working.  She listed necklace, bangles, biro, whistles and tail comb as handy weapons for ladies.

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Another speaker at the event was Director of Unite Cisco Network, Mrs. Toyin Olutayo, who spoke on the importance of technology and how the girl child can plug into the 4th revolution global trend of development.

Mrs Olutayo  noted that there were spaces in the technological sector such as cyber security experts, email technology, application developments to still be filled and the girls can assume dominate these spaces.

The vote of thanks was given by , Pastor Mrs. Omolara Adesanya, the deputy board of trustees of the foundation, who also is the eldest Sister to late Bimbo Odukoya.

The major sponsors of the events are Stanbic IBTC, Michael Ekwemalor Foundation, Eventful, Tastee, MTN Foundation, GTBank, Haddassah Foods, Xchangehub, and many more.

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