Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF representative in Nigeria, has specifically advised the Abdullahi Ganduje led Kano State Government to prioritise the living standards of the girl child through an especial programme, and also take into cognizance the welfare of the parents of almajiri children by domesticating the Child Rights Act.
He said about the Almajiris, “We need to enhance the social protection element, increase livelihood, identify and reintegrate these children with their families.”
“We need to improve education. Education is a simple concept; girl + boy + teacher = education. It is about valuing those teachers. Why don’t we start a program of valuing teachers and showing the communities how valuable they are?
“The issue about girls education is so critical. We must not leave the girls behind. With the COVID19 lockdown, this is a period to skill up the teachers, bring the girls and boys back to school, give them access to education. It’s about the ability to value what they will learn.
“Kano has not yet domesticated the Child Rights Act. The Act defines the rights of a child, parents, communities and government in fulfilling the rights of that child.
“Traditional leaders, communities and parents please look at putting children at the fore-front of what you are doing. Government should also look at domesticating the Child Rights Act in Kano.”””” Peter Hawkins pleaded.
Kano has achieved much in the area of reducing the number of out-of-school children, but a lot of children also took up the informal quaranic education called Almajirci. This has left much for the state to do. So also the education of the girl child, especially in the rural enclaves.
The state is a strategic focal point for the entire North of Nigeria and if she practically establish programmes to cater for qualitative training for teachers in public schools, the same gesture will be replicated in other parts of the northern geopolitical zones.