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Early Marriage: Kano to impose law to enforce girl child finish secondary school- SUBEB

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By Bashir Bello

Child Marriage in Nigeria.
KANO – The Chairman, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Danlami Hayyo has on Tuesday disclosed plans by the state government to introduce and impose a law to ensure that girl child finish secondary school before giving out her hand in marriage in the state.
Dr. Hayyo disclosed this during a dissemination of research findings on impact of violence in schools on girls education in Nigeria organized by the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

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The SUBEB Chairman said the law if introduced will help to increase the literacy level among the girl child in the state.
According to him, “It is suppose to have been put in place long ago because normally, most of our children especially girls at the primary or junior secondary school level in some areas in Kano state gets married before they finished the school. So that is the reason why now the government wants to impose law that every child most especially the girls most finish senior secondary school before they marry at least to improve or increase the literacy rate in the state. They go into marriage and have problems because they didn’t go to school. Problems such as this is suppose to curb. And that is why very soon government is going to do it best to impose the law that the girl child finish secondary school before marriage. If that is done, it will help produce girl child in all field of work who will take charge where their services is needed. It will also brigde gaps where women in some cases needs service of their women folks but left with no option than to be attended to by their male counterparts,” he said.
Dr.  Hayyo also said many parents have resort to withdrawing their children from private schools to public schools in the state to benefit from the free and compulsory education put in place by the government.
To this extent, the SUBEB Chairman said the state has approved the counterpart fund of N1.5 million with 800 million already released to benefit from the UBEC interventions.
“With the introduction of free and compulsory education in the state, i was surprised when I was told some people from our neighbouring states coming to Kano State to enrol their children. In fact, most of the parents now withdraw their children from private schools to public schools to benefit from the intervention. And so the number of out of School have reduced.
“Presently, the state government have approved to release of N1.5million counterpart funding with N800million already in SUBEB account in order to meet the requirements of the Federal government to construct more classrooms,” Hayyo said.
Presenting the findings from the research, a member of the team, Hajia Hadiza Umar said 60% out of 13.2 million out school children in the country were girls and in Northern Nigeria while attributing the cause to various forms of violence against them while in the school.
Hajia Umar further said corporal punishment, emotional violence records top among some of the violence meted on the girls which puts them off from schools.
The UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Kano Office, Maulid Warfa however called for zero tolerance to any form of violence on children either in schools or communities.
Warfa represented by the Senior Education Manager, Michael Banda called on the state government to act by putting in place legal system that prevent any form of violence to children in the school setting or communities.
“The findings today, have been outstanding particularly that it shows that violence in schools is almost a norm, meaning that it is been accepted by teacher and by the learners. That corporal punishment and others forms of punishment are a norm and that is the very beginning of our struggle to ensure that norm is no longer a norm.
“For UNICEF, we are going to take measures to ensure that teachers are well grounded to understand that there are alternative way to discipline a child without resort to corporal punishment or any other form of physical or psychological punishment to children.
“For UNICEF, we take a stand that there should be zero tolerance to any form of violence to children be it in schools or communities,” Warfa however stated.

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