A Junior Secondary School Student 3, Miss Dorcas Joshua, on Monday, emerged and assumed duties as a One Day Minister of State for Education, calling for more investment in education in the country.
Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, relinquished his office for a day to Joshua, a Junior Secondary School (JSS3) student of Government Day Junior Secondary School, Jemeta, Yola, Adamawa State, at the commemoration of the International Girl-Child Day.
After a symbolic briefing by the various directors of the Ministry, Miss Joshua, in her speech called for increased investment in education.
The 14-year-old student said investment in education would close the gender digital divide in the country.
Joshua called for the building of more secondary schools in all states to match the number of girls graduating from primary schools with a maximum of 2km distance from homes.
She added that the theme for the celebration was apt as there was a need to invest in knowing more about girls and digital realities for young women.
Joshua added that it was also necessary to support learning solutions fit for the digital world.
“An analysis of data from Nigeria’s annual school census of 2019/2020 indicates that the average transition rates from lower basic education to upper basic stands at 58 per cent for the northern states of Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“The national average for girls’ transition from primary to junior secondary stands at 64 per cent. Even the national average remains unacceptable to me.
“As the data show, girls’ enrollment and transition continue to be jeopardised. And even where enrolled, girls are less likely than boys to complete secondary education due to so many reasons.
“Only one of six girls graduates from primary school are able to transit to secondary schools. I ask them, where are the rest of the girls? we must find them,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Sonny Echono, said no economy could attain its full potentials without the contribution of women, youths, girls and boys alike.
“It is estimated that about 2.2 billion youths below the age of 25 still do not have internet access at home and girls make up most of the figure.
“Since Oct. 11, 2012, the day is to bring to the front burner the importance of girls and highlight the unique role they play in every society and economy.
“There is need for all hands to be on deck in ensuring that Nigerian girls achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality through digital learning in both online and offline environment,” he said.
He emphasized that there was also a need to ensure that students benefit from inclusive learning experiences in both content and digital materials.
The 2021 edition of the day has its theme: “Digital Generation, Our Generation; Digital Revolution: Not without Girls.”
The United Nations holds the annual International Day of the Girl Child on October 11 to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities all over the world.