By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Consultant Paediatrician with the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Dr Kudirat Ahmed has said access to quality education is the most rewarding investment a country can make, saying the success of any nation is hinged on intellectual and mind management of women.
She made the assertion at the Graduation, Graduate Empowerment of 209 students of Womenhood School of Health Sciences Kaduna on Thursday, July 12, 2018.
In a paper titled: ‘Girl-Child Education: An Imperative To Development’, Dr Ahmed said education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women, adding that offering girls basic education is one sure way of giving them much greater power of enabling them making genuine choices over the kinds of lives they wish to lead.
She said education is a key part of strategies to improve individual’s well-being and society’s economic and social development, pointing out that as female education rises, fertility, population growth, infant and child mortality fall and family health improves increases in girls.
She however said to improve female education in Nigeria it needed to go beyond rhetorics and should involve policies and programs with measurable results. She said government can start by making SDGs part of national development plans and monitoring progress toward those goals.
“Girls’ education does not only bring the immediate benefit of empowering girls, but is the best investment in a country’s development.
“Educated girls develop essential life skills, including self confidence, the ability to participate effectively in society, and protect themselves from HIV/AIDS, sexual exploitation.
“Girl’s education also helps cutting children and maternal mortality rates, contributing to national wealth and controlling disease and health status. Children of educated women are more likely to go to school and, consequently, this has exponential positive effects on education and poverty reduction for generations to come.
“Educated women generally want smaller families and make better use of reproductive health and family planning information and services in achieving their desired family size,” she said.
Earlier, Chairperson of Womenhood Foundation of Nigeria, Hajiya Maryam Abubakar, tasked the graduands not to consider themselves to have arrived, but as being on a journey of service to humanity.
She enjoined the graduands to continually update themselves with knowledge in their fields to be useful to themselves and community, noting that education is a journey that only ends when we exit this world.
“We are all aware that education is the most powerful tool for fighting poverty, ignorance, disease and promoting and sustaining peaceful coexistence across our country. I hope that you will be our ambassadors in promoting peace wherever you find yourselves,” she admonished.
Hajiya Abubakar also informed the gathering that Womehood School of Health Sciences is accredited to train students on the following courses: Dental Health Technician/Assistant, Environment Health Technician/Assistant, Health Information Technician, Trained Birth Assistant and X-Ray Technician.