By Justina Auta
UNESCO has undertaken sensitization and advocacy visits to selected LGAs in Ebonyi to promote health education for girls in school.
Ms. Ngozi Amanze, head of UNESCO’s national program for education, said in a statement that a multi-sector team had traveled to Abakaliki to seek support for a two-year project on health education at the ‘school.
Amanze said the two-year project was a collaborative effort between UNESCO and Peking University (PKU), China, to promote school health education for girls in Africa in the age of the COVID-19.
According to her, the project aims to promote the education, health and welfare of girls in Abakakili, Ebonyi and Izzi local government areas of Ebonyi State.
“In the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more imperative than ever to promote girls’ health education to improve their health literacy.
» Also, improve knowledge and develop life skills conducive to individual and community health.
She further explained that empowering girls through education and training is the most effective way to lift them out of poverty.
Amanze therefore called on stakeholders to eradicate cultural norms that held girls back from realizing their full potential in life and to improve parent-child communication.
She said that representatives from the Federal Ministries of Education, Health, Women’s Affairs and UNESCO visited the local government of Abakiliki to enlist their support.
The statement also revealed that they met with stakeholders ranging from the chairman of the council, traditional/religious leaders, women/youth groups and local education authority officials.
He also quoted, Ms. Ucha Kalu, representing the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs, stressing the need to break the silence, amplify voices against gender-based violence (GBV) and school-related violence.
Also, Ms. Uche Udoji, representative of the Minister of Education urged stakeholders to support the project for the full achievement of the objectives set out therein.
The statement also quotes Mr. Offor Reuben, the Education Supervisory Advisor, Abakaliki LGA, assuring the team of his support in achieving the project objective.
“The local government will create an enabling environment for the project from start to finish,” he said.
Similarly, Ms. Odikwe Christiana, the female leader, welcomed the inclusion of Abakiliki as one of the pilot LGAs of the project and assured the team of the women’s unwavering support for the project.
Christiana, expressed her joy at the inclusion of menstrual hygiene management as part of the project, which would improve school attendance.
“Whenever you see a community schoolgirl at home, you’ll quickly know she’s on her period,” she said.
For his part, Chief Eze Ukpa of the Amagu Okpuitumo community, Abakaliki LGA, head of the traditional council, pledged his support and assured his determination to eliminate socio-cultural norms preventing schooling, retention and completion of education girls. (NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Chioma Ugboma