Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has made double history by voting 35 per cent of the 2018 budget to education.
The Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajia Hafsat Baba disclosed this in an address at the 2017 International Day of Girl Child event organised by the Christian Aid on Thursday.
She said she just came to the event from the draft Budget presentation to the Kaduna State House of Assembly, where another history was made from the early presentation.
Hajia Baba explained that from the 2018 budget, El-Rufai gave education 35 per cent of the budget, valued at about 44 billion Naira.
Speaking further, she said that because of the premium he places on education, he has recently provided about 186,000 furniture to schools.
The commissioner said that the governor at their women summit, assured that he would encourage education for the girl-child would not just to the Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3, but up to the tertiary level.
“When we did women summit, he made a promise that he would encourage the education for girls will not just stop at JSS, but up to tertiary level,” she said.
She said that worried that schools renovated were being vandalised, the governor is also looking at budget to start fencing all schools.
She challenged communities to contribute to progressby protecting such infrastructure in their domain.
“Since we don’t have community schools in Kaduna as it exists in other states let’s help ourselves and government by protecting such infrastructure,” she appealed.
She said that when she took a tour of schools, she realized that so many girls were removed from school as a result of marriage.
“We keep appealing to our Imams. I am a Muslim. I got married at 13, but it didn’t stop me from continuing schooling,” she added.
On support for those who are married but interested in continuing with their education, she said partners can make a difference.
“We are appealing to development partners that we have two classes, those that dropped out and those that are not learned enough,” she added.
She further disclosed that recently, the Kaduna State Government graduated 130 children that suffered from VVF.
“We need to teach them skills so that they know when they go back home they will have something to do and his Excellency gave them stipends so that they can start something,* she added.
She challenged Northerners to put heads together and bring an end to VVF, which she said, predominantly occurs in the North.
“So we must make efforts to eradicate it,” she appealed.
On laws that would further protect children, especially the girl child, she said she was happy that she got the assurance of the Kaduna Dtate House if Assembly that it would soon be passed.
“Right now I just came from the Assembly and the Speaker looked at me and said they are working on it. We don’t want to call it child rights, but child protection law,” she emphasized, while charging all stakeholders to seek ways of engaging their elected leaders, so that they can fast track its passage.
While lamenting the unfortunate rising cases of hawking among children, she assured that t was being nipped in the bud gradually, while laying the blames on men who fail to provide basic needs of their families.
“When men don’t live up to their responsibility they have issues. You can’t sit at home and send children to hawk. Its your duty to provide for them, children are not supposed to be the bread winners.
“We are removing them gradually and we are working with sole administrators to end child hawking,” she announced.
Some of the activities at the event included the presentation of a drama, ‘Kande’s Courage’ in Hausa language, panel of discussion, and presentation of a call to action to the Commissioner of Women Affairs.