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Equipping the girl-child to face future challenges

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Equipping the girl-child to face future challenges

Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu took 400 girls on special training in order to equip them for future challenges. Babatope Okeowo, who was at the opening and closing ceremonies of the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp, reports that the girls were given lifeenhancing training during the two-week training

 

 

For two weeks, 400 girls drawn from different parts of Ondo State were camped in the premises of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) where they were trained in Information Technology Communication (ICT), Solar Technology and life-enhancing skills in order to equip them for the future challenges.

The girls who were mostly secondary school children were trained under BEMORE Summer Bootcamp, an initiative of the Governor’s wife, with the aim of producing children who would be able to create jobs instead of looking for non-existing white collar jobs after graduation. Apart from ICT and Solar Technology training, the children were thought how to create wealth using their talents including dancing, singing and acting. At the end of the two weeks training, 400 laptops were given to the graduands of the 2018 edition of BEMORE Summer Bootcamp. 200 girls benefitted from the last year’s edition of the programme.

Giving insights to the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp initiative Mrs. Akeredolu said low literacy level and lack of girl-child education in the country has led to the death of 102 women during childbirth on a daily basis while over 2,000 children die before they attain the age of five. She said half of Nigeria’s women populations are uneducated and the major cause of the low literacy level among Nigerian women is the lack of opportunity to be properly schooled due to gender stereotypes prevailing in the country.

Comparing Nigeria’s development with that of United Arabs Emirate (UAE), Mrs. Akeredolu said the two countries were at the same level in the early 1970s but the Arab country has surpassed the country due to the training is given to girl-child in that country.

Her words “Did you know that in the 1970s, more than half of the women in UAE and Nigeria were illiterate? However, the UAE made significant investments in the girl-child education and 40 years later, just like magic, more than 90 per cent of women in that country are well educated.

On the contrary, Nigeria female illiteracy population remains high till date. More than half of our women are still without formal education. These facts made me conclude that; one more educated woman leads to much more national income.”

Mrs. Akeredolu said the greatest error as a nation is denying the girl-child access to quality education by upholding cultural norms, traditions and religious beliefs that discriminate against them. The Governor’s wife who gave 400 laptops and kits gifts during the closing ceremony of the two weeks camping exercise expressed hope that the BEMORE girls would contribute effectively to the actualization of a better Nigeria.

“The Bootcamp has succeeded in building the next generation of complete leaders who are technologically proficient, health aware and highly skilled as entrepreneurs” saying the young girls are all set to defy and leapfrog all obstacles in ensuring that the Nigeria flag stands tall in G20 summits. She said “I must warn you that there will be challenging times, but you should know that this camp has equipped you with all that you need to overcome them all.

You are the twinkle little stars we hope will navigate our voyage; you are indeed the hope of many generations that have lost hope. “Girls, to rise up to the task ahead, you must put all you have learnt here to practice, mentor many more girl children and build a formidable network of change agents I have never been more hopeful of a better Nigeria than this moment, seeing almost 400 girls ready to change our story and make us more visible on the world map. In a fast-paced world driven by technology, the only way for a nation to catch up is to have leaders who are themselves technologically inclined.

“My girls, just three words; WE MADE IT! Two weeks of rigorous training in ICT, Solar technology and life-enhancing skills have come and gone but many years of impacting the world and making it a better place is just ahead of you.

“The baton has been placed in your hands; your race begins. I must warn you that there will be challenging times, but you should know that this boot camp has equipped you with all that you need to overcome them all. Although Nigeria sails on uncharted waters; you are the twinkle little stars we hope will navigate our voyage; you are the soothing wind we hope will clear this cloudy sky and glide us to a glorious shore; you are indeed the hope of many generations that had lost hope and many more that will be hopeful. Girls, to rise up to the task ahead, you must put all you have learned here to practice, mentor many more girl children, and build a formidable network of change agents.

The chairman of the occasion, Mrs Bisi Fayemi in her address lauded Mrs Akeredolu for coming up with the initiative saying that Ekiti government under her husband would take a cue from the initiative to the benefit of its own people. While congratulating the girls for being among the privileged few who have the opportunity to be exposed to technology at an early age, Mrs Fayemi charged them to make the best use of the privilege and become great future leaders. Some of the beneficiaries, Ileayo Magba and Oladele Abolore thanked Mrs Akeredolu for giving them the opportunity to be among the privileged few while promising to use their newly acquired skill to the very best of their abilities. Dignitaries at the occasion include; the Deputy Governor of Ondo State and his wife, Bar. Agboola Ajayi and Chief Mrs. Ajewole Ajayi, the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the Vice Chancellor, FUTA, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, HRM Oba Adebori Adeleye, Olubaka of Okaland, chairman OSOPADEC, Hon. Gbenga Edema.

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