The United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF) has strongly advocated equal education opportunity for African children so as not to deny them opportunity to develop their potentials.
Abia State UNICEF Desk Officer, Mr. Okezie Nkpa, who made the advocacy during the 2017 Day of African Child held at Urban 1 Primary School Umuahia, condemned the obsolete attitude of some parents who still discriminate against their female children in preference to their male counterparts.
He blamed the poor education of girls in many states on gender inequality and called for attitudinal change, arguing that denial of the educational rights of girls give birth to other forms of discrimination.
The UNICEF Desk Officer regretted that apart from education inequality , the girl child also faces other forms of discrimination such as sexual abuse, child marriage, child trafficking, forced labour, and female genital mutilation.
Earlier in a lecture entitled “accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030”, a UNICEF- acclaimed resource person, Dr. Chigozie Ogbonna, tasked government on free and compulsory basic education for all children.
He also tasked government to make tertiary education accessible for all Nigeria children by 2030, and to evolve measures to check the high rate of school drop- outs especially among boys.
Dr. Ogbonna also advocated equal and equitable access to education for gifted and disadvantaged children especially the children of persons living with disabilities.
He called on government at all levels to deal with all forms of violence against children including child labour , child prostitution and corporal punishments.