The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo has stressed the need for adequate investment in girl-child education to tackle challenges often faced in society.
Mrs Osinbajo gave the advice in her address at the two-day MALLPAI Foundation 2021 Literacy Day with the theme: “Promoting Literacy for better education in Nigeria”, held on Saturday night in Abuja.
At the same occasion, the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Hajiya Aisha Bagudu who is also Founder and initiator of the non-governmental organization, Mass Literacy for Less Privileged and Almajiri initiative(MALLPAI) has called for adequate investment in the proper education of children to keep them away from crime.
Mrs.Osinbajo decried the situation where the girl-child appeared to lag behind the boys, saying more needs to be done to bridge the gaps in education between female children and their male counterparts.
She said: “When a girl is educated, she can read and she can write; when she is educated, she is aware of the law, she knows love and when her signs say danger.
“When a girl is educated, she is aware of her potential; she can read about Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organisation.
“An educated girl sitting on a chair in Kebbi or Kano, in Osogbo or Osodi, in Awka or Uyo, understands norms and expands her mind.
“She is not a doctor, but knows a bit about medicine because she can read; she is not an engineer but she knows a bit about buildings and how machines work.
“An educated girl achieves her potential and relies on all of us when we limit her in any little way.
“Imagine if Dr Stella Adedavor, a doctor was never educated and imagine if Nana Asamoah, a poet, was never educated.”
Mrs Osinbajo lauded MALLPAI Foundation’s efforts to provide meaningful life to the girl-child to be apt in achieving the desired goals and urged that more be done to ensure education was assured for the girl child.
Corroborating, Hajiya Bagudu explained that “when Mallpai started with Almajiri, we had challenges then and now, people do not see such children, they just see a nuisance, but for us we see the child not the nuisance, we do not see through such children, we see them as human beings;some of them have started working, some have come back to work with Mallpai Foundation”
She disclosed that as a mother, the majority of her children are girls “the mistake we are all making is to think that by educating our children alone and not educating others, we are doing better, but we are not”
For his part, the Minister of State for Education in Nigeria, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said misperception about education being just limited to the classroom was contributing to the lingering gaps.
“Education is not just a classroom thing; the entire gamut of the educational system consists of so many life skills that are inherently endowed in any society.
“However, the formal mode of teaching people to become literate in a communicable language, because literacy is not only as it pertains to English language.
“You can also have literacy in other languages; literacy refers to the ability to communicate in education in one language and to do so in written and oral forms,” Nwajiuba said.