The UNESCO has embarked on sensitisation and advocacy visits to some LGAs in Ebonyi to promote school health education for girls.
Ms Ngozi Amanze, UNESCO’s National Programme Officer on Education in a statement, said a multi-sectoral team visited Abakaliki to garner support for a two-year project on school health education.
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 COVID-19 era.
According to her, the project aim at promoting education, health, and well-being of girls in Abakakili, Ebonyi and Izzi local government areas of Ebonyi state ” Under the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative now more than ever to promote health education for girls with a view to improving their health literacy.
” Also, improve knowledge and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health.
She further explained that strengthening the capacity of girls through education and training is the most effective way of lifting them out of poverty.
Amanze, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to eradicate cultural norms that prevented girls from achieving their full potential in life and improve Parent-Child communication.
She said representatives from Federal Ministries of Education, Health, Women Affairs and UNESCO visited Abakiliki Local government to garner their support.
The statement also revealed that they met with stakeholders ranging from the Council Chairman, Religious Leaders, Women youth groups and officials of the Local education authority.
It also quoted, Mrs Ucha Kalu, representing Federal Ministry of Women Affairs stressing the need to break the silence, amplify voices against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and school related violence.
Also, Mrs Uche Udoji, representative of the Minister of Education urged stakeholders to support the project for a full realisation of the objectives therein.
The statement also quoted Mr Offor Reuben, the Education Supervisory councillor, Abakaliki LGA assuring the team of their support toward reaching the project’s goal.
” The local government will give an enabling environment for the project from inception to closeout,” he said.
Similarly, Mrs Odikwe Christiana, the Women Leader was elated with the inclusion of Abakiliki as one of the pilot LGAs for the project and assured the team of the unflinching support of women to the project.
Christiana, expressed joy over the inclusion of Menstrual hygiene management as part of the project focus, which would improve school attendance.
” Anytime you see a school girl in the community at home you will quickly know she is menstruating,” she said.
On his part, Chief Eze Ukpa of Amagu Okpuitumo community, Abakaliki LGA, Head of the traditional council, pledged their support and assured of their resolve to eliminate sociocultural norms preventing enrollment, retention and completion of education for girls.