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The education of the girl child was considered relevant for the achievement of national development.
Professor of Curriculum and Teaching, Professor Lawrence Ikechi Ajoku said so at the 36th Inaugural Lecture of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), PortHarcourt, recently.
Speaking on the theme of the conference “Egalitarianism and Equalization of Educational Opportunity in Nigeria”, Ajoku said education of girls in Nigeria faces various challenges including cultural and socio-economic, marriage precocious, religious, ignorance and illiteracy of the parents. , patrilineal/patriarchal lineage and family, among others, affirming however that these challenges must be overcome in order to achieve equal educational opportunities.
While noting that over the years, efforts have been made to address the gender imbalance in access to basic education in the country, with successive governments demonstrating their commitment to the issues and concerns of education of women and girls, Ajoku regretted that the percentage of
Girls’ access to basic education, particularly in northern states, remained low.
The education expert said that “girls’ right to education is one of the most critical rights of all. Like their male counterparts, they have the right to education and the acquisition of skills, the right to career choice and to personal fulfilment. Girls’ education is relevant to the achievement of national development”.
“The role of women in national development cannot be underestimated. Girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to end poverty in developing countries. Generally speaking, the education of women leads to significant social and economic development,” he said.
Ajoku asserted that without education, girls are denied the opportunity not only to develop their full potential, but also to play their productive role in their families, society, country and the world at large.
According to him, woman, at present, cannot afford to be ignorant in a world that is moving too fast with daily innovations and advancements and stressed the need for the Nigerian government to ensure that girls have the same educational opportunities as boys.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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