Senate committed to ensuring free, safe, quality education, says committee

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Abuja  –   The Senate on Thursday restated its commitment to ensuring free, safe and quality education for the girl child in Nigeria.

Mr Felix Orunmwense, the Clerk, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education said this during the national screening of a film entitled; “He named Me Malala’’.

The event was organised by the Civil Society Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CSACEFA is a National Coalition of Civil Society Organisations working on Education issues in Nigeria.

“The senate to a large extent is doing its own role because we have three basic functions; law making, oversight and budget.

“So, we have been trying our best in ensuring that we push in enough funds to such areas to encourage girl child education.

“Also, the programme that involved girl child education, we also see how we could monitor such programmes through our over sight function activities.

“This is to ensure that such programmes are carried out by the necessary agencies that are involved.’’

Orunmwense said that the call For Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to expand its mandate to include 12 years of free and quality education would to some extent help “out of school’’ children in Nigeria.

He said that stopping at the junior secondary level was not a complete form of education, saying that a child should receive full secondary education up to the senior secondary level.

“At the senior secondary level, the child will be able to make decisions on what to do next.

“He or she can decide whether to continue with tertiary education or get involved in vocational skill acquisition.’’

Dr Zainab Bagudu, the Wife of the Governor of Kebbi State, represented by Aisha Augie-Kuta said that the state government was working hard to reduce the “out of school’’ children, especially the girl-child.

“We do understand that we have low numbers when it comes to the turnout of girl education in Kebbi.

“We are working very hard to bring those numbers up in many different ways.

“We are trying to get people involved from the royal fathers, to the religious leaders, to the government, to the general populace to understand the value of girl child education.

“One of the main things we have done is to create policies and advocate incorporating girl child education in a religiously and culturally accepted way.’’
According to her, not necessarily getting them to change who they are, but finding a way to incorporate education on what is already on ground.

Augie-Kuta, the Special Assistant, New Media to the Kebbi State Governor said that having free basic education for all encouraged people to further educate themselves.

Chioma Osuji, the Policy Advicer of CSACEFA, said the main objective of the programme was to advocate for free, quality and safe education, especially for the girl child.

Osuji said that the organisation was advocating for UBEC to expand its mandate to include 12 years of free, safe and quality education.

She added that the organisation was also advocating for a removal of hidden costs in education in line with UBEC’s Act.

The policy advicer also said the organisation was advocating for the allocation of 20 per cent of the national budget and six per cent of the GDP to education.(NAN)