Uploaded by on October 11, 2021

As the world marks the International Day of the Girl Child, some girls in Lagos public schools want their counsellors to be more accommodating and friendly toward them to open up on their challenges to them.

They made the call at an event to mark the day at Ikeja, organized by Human Development Initiatives in collaboration with Actionaid Nigeria with the support from Norad.

Some of the girls who spoke with our Correspondent Yemisi Dada identified some of their challenges to include gender discrimination: they wondered why only boys are appointed as class captain while calling on the Ministry of Education to address this form of discrimination. Other challenges identified are sexual abuse by close family members, lack of attention from some parents, low self esteem, inadequate teachers, infrastructure and ICT facilities in public schools in Lagos and peer influence on the internet.

In line with the theme of the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child, “Digital Generation, our Generation” the girls called for more investment in ICT infrastructure in schools and enforcement of government laws protecting the rights of the girl child and quick dispensation of justice for girl child abusers.

Executive Director HDI, Mrs Funso Owasanoye, who advised the girls to always voice out their challenges through dedicated helplines, cautioned them against using the internet negatively which could jeopardize their future.

Mrs Owasanoye also implored parents to bridge the communication gap between them and their children especially the girl child in order to win their confidence and trust to speak out.

The highpoint of the event was the moment the children were interacting with their respective Tutor General/Permanent Secretaries; and the distribution of sanitary pads to the girls who are over two hundred.

The representative of the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ojo was present at the event, she encouraged the girls to challenge their limitations, pledging the commitment of the Lagos State government to continue to improve on the level investment in the education for the benefit of all the children in the State.

The theme of this year’s international day of the girl child is Digital Generation: Our generation.

Meanwhile, some teachers have advised their female students to be focus and determined to succeed in this digital generation.

They gave the advice at a high level engagement with duty bearers with support from Norad in commemoration of the international day of the girl child in Ikeja.

Some of the teachers who alleged that most parents have left their children moral upbringing to them urged parents not to jeopardize their children’s future in the name of looking for daily bread.

On his part, a Quality Basic Education Advocate, Mr Samuel Ajayi, who commended the Lagos State Government for improving on the standard of public education, however, wants the Lagos State Government to invest more in ICT infrastructure in public primary and secondary schools and create better safe space for girls to express themselves; as well as address all gender discrimination.

Mr Ajayi also encouraged the girls to venture into ICT and other fields that are currently dominated by their male counterpart; and acquire new skills to become self reliant in the face of socio-economic challenges in the country.

Yemisi Dada

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