“House of Representatives Calls for Compulsory Free Education for Girls”

"House of Representatives Calls for Compulsory Free Education for Girls" "House of Representatives Calls for Compulsory Free Education for Girls"

In a significant move aimed at addressing the alarming number of out-of-school girls in the country, the House of Representatives has passed a motion urging the Federal Ministry of Education to make compulsory free education for girls a reality in Nigeria. This decision comes in the wake of the commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child, with its theme, “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.”

The motion, which was introduced by Hon. Kafilat Ogbara, highlights the pressing issue of girls being denied access to education and the detrimental consequences it brings. Out-of-school girls often find themselves vulnerable to various challenges, including involvement in drugs and other vices. Ogbara emphasized the historical systematic undervaluation of girls in society, making it imperative to take concrete steps to address this issue.

The motion underscores the importance of investing in girls’ rights, as outlined in international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). By ensuring compulsory free education for girls, Nigeria can work towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively.

One alarming trend highlighted by the motion is the fact that sexually abused young girls are often forced to return to their abusive environments even after police intervention. This underscores the urgency of creating a safe and conducive environment for girls through education.

In addition to advocating for compulsory free education for girls, the House of Representatives called upon the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the National Orientation Agency (NOA), and other stakeholders to devise strategies for educating and sensitizing adolescent girls about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. This move aims to protect girls from the harms associated with substance abuse.

In another related motion, the House urged the Federal Government to consider employing victims of election violence into public service. Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had co-opted a large number of youth corps members as ad-hoc staff for the 2023 elections, constituting a significant portion of INEC’s workforce. Unfortunately, some of these young corps members became victims of election violence, sustaining injuries in the process. The motion seeks to provide these young individuals with opportunities for meaningful employment and rehabilitation.

In conclusion, the House of Representatives has taken a positive step towards promoting gender equality and providing educational opportunities for girls. By ensuring compulsory free education for girls and addressing the challenges they face, Nigeria can pave the way for a brighter and more equitable future for all its citizens.


Written by Nwokwu Chukwuemeka (Obinwannem News correspondent Ebonyi State)
Date: October 19, 2023
Published by Ugwu Okechukwu (Obinwannem ndi Igbo)

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