Sultan Pledges Support for Girl- child Education

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From Kuni Tyessi in ‎Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Saad III, has pledged that the government and entire people of Sokoto State would promote the spread of western education as long as he lives, stressing that the benefits are enormous and unquantifiable.

He said 80 percent male dominance in the area of human resources for health and education was unacceptable in the face of high child- maternal mortality which placed Sokoto at the top, stressing that the sultanate will not rest on its oars ‎until a 50-50 male and female ratio is achieved.

The sultan who stated this Friday in Sokoto during a two-day media dialogue on Educate-A-Child (EAC) cash transfer programme in Northern Nigeria‎, which was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information, said until of recent, most indigenes of the state were suspicious of western education.

The sultan, who was represented by the Sarkin Yakin Gagi, Sani Umar Jabbi, said this after a field trip to Rimawa Model Primary School in Goronyo LGA of the state, where pupils were seen sitting on dusty floors in dilapidated classrooms and being taught by semi- qualified teachers.

He said until recently, northern states feared exposure to western education, especially for girls, because of the belief that it would interfere with the cultural and religious beliefs of the people, due to the curriculum in use.

He said: “We will continue to struggle to the end of our lives to ensure that every girl-child is enrolled in school, complete the school, transit to secondary school ‎and complete it. We need more professionals in human resources… We need more human resource in teaching profession in Sokoto. What we have now is largely dominated by males. About 60-80 percent is male dominated and demand for human resources in education and health is needed.

“In the rural areas we have high burden of child-maternal mortality, as a result of the community not allowing females to search for knowledge in health-related professions as a result of male domination. It means there is need for all males to support girl-child education so that we can have more human resources for females in the health and education profession. We will continue until we ensure that 50 percent female and 50 percent male‎ is achieved. But for males to be 80 percent is unacceptable.

“The curriculum being introduced in western education is still from western imperialism and has not ben adjusted. We are still strongly against mixing mature males and females in school to mingle together.‎ So that’s why it tends to limit male participation.”