..harps on quality education as potent tool to prepare future leaders
..says eradicating SGBV starts with raising boys well
As Nigeria celebrates the National Children’s Day, the wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has called on parents, community leaders, teachers and guardians to protect and uphold the constitutional rights of every child.
She made this call in Akure, the capital of Ondo state, to commemorate the national day observed every May 27 to celebrate children and raise awareness on issues that affect them.
Mrs Akeredolu said it is a momentous day to celebrate the children and make them feel loved, especially after a challenging year with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Lady further noted that even with the global economic challenges, rampant insecurity and inequalities growing due to the pandemic, no child’s right to life, education, parental care, survival, development, health services and dignity should be denied.
“The children are essential in National development as statistic show 40.9% of the Nigerian populace are below age 14. So they are vital, and they must be protected and given all necessary solid foundation as they determine the future of the country.”
Harping on the importance of quality education as a potent tool for the children to take on the future with confidence, she said educating children is the best way to prepare them for leadership and help them to cope with life’s challenges.
“There is no gainsaying that children are the future of the nation. Without raising them to be responsible and hardworking by putting them on the path of proper education, the nation’s hope of building a productive and responsible leadership greatly diminishes.”
The founder of BEMORE Empowered initiative further reiterated that the administration of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, would continue to prioritise children’s wellbeing and prepare them for a brighter future.
She said COVID-19 pandemic has changed how the world now functions, said the need to reimagine the role of information technology as a lever for economic productivity and urged parents and guardians to expose their daughters along with their sons to technology.
“ COVID-19 has changed the world. How we live and interact with each other, how we work and communicate. Our children must not be left out. We must bridge that gender gap in technology,” she said.
She emphasised the importance and role of the girl child in the attainment of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“ The point is for every 15 Nigerian boys exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM ), you might find three girls. In a country where the female population more, it only makes sense to develop them so that they too can contribute to the socio-economic development.”
Mrs Akeredolu, advocated eradicating every form of sexual and gender-based violence.
The brain behind the SGBV Yellow Card, an initiative to combat against gender violence, stated that, “ We live in a society where violence against women—both in action and in speech—are still prevalent, and for that reason, we cannot stop telling parents that are raising children to play their role in eradicating this menace. Preventing sexual violence starts with what we teach our boys. Fathers should be of good examples to their sons, and mother should not stop teaching them it is abhorrent to all .”
The First Lady appreciated the teachers and educators for the vital role they have played in the lives of children and holding the fort during the very challenging previous years.
SSA (Media), WoG.