The Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Wemi Jones, on Saturday, restated the commitment of Gov. Yahaya Bello, to encourage, support and strengthen girl-child education in the state.
Jones told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on the sidelines of the investiture and inauguration of Engr. Joan Oguche, the newly elected Chairman of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Kogi chapter.
Represented by the Mr. Dipo Ayenibe, the Director, Exams, Admission and Certification in the ministry, the commissioner commended APWEN for their commitment to girl-child advocacy in Kogi and Nigeria at large.
He noted that the governor had ensured more than the affirmative percentage for women in governance in Kogi, especially in the education sector.
According to him, the government is focused on education, especially by empowering the girl-child and catching them young, which was the theme of the occasion.
”The Kogi state government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has placed education as the first in its thematic areas, and 20 per cent of its annual budget goes to education.
”So, invariably what is happening here today on girl-child education, especially the efforts of APWEN, Kogi chapter, is highly commendable as it complements government’s efforts.
”This has been so magnanimous enough looking at their numerous achievements in helping the girl-child to go to school in the state in terms of sponsorships, scholarships and other things”, he said.
Jones stressed that the gesture was very relevant to the efforts of government in encouraging and promoting girl child education and women’s rights in the state.
He added that the government had also established a guidance and counselling units in Kogi schools, to encourage girl-child and discourage the abuse of girls.
”We will keep encouraging the girls, especially those who won awards today, to keep doing their best to try and remain at the forefront.
”So, we look forward to that kind of competition in which the girl-child can compete and work favourably”, he said.
On his part, Chief Yakubu Godwin, the Principal, Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo, whose school emerged the winner of the Girls Quiz competition, commended APWEN for organising the competition.
Godwins, who doubles as the National Secretary of the All-Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), told NAN that he was replicating in the state, what he was doing at the national level.
”To me, the emergence of our school as the best in the girls quiz competition is not strange, because I know God has been at work all the while.
”I must replicate what I do at the national level in my state. So, what we have today is part of the baby we have nursed over time, and we would continue to win Laurels for the state anywhere,” he said.
He advised the students and parents to show more commitment, because the public school that was being perceived as downtrodden could equally make it.
In her inaugural speech, the new APWEN Chairman, Kogi chapter, Engr. Joan Oguche, promised to take the advocacy of the girl-child to the three Senatorial districts in the state, so as to ensure that enough gifts were made available at different level of classes. (NAN)