The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has called on Zamfara House of Assembly to pass two bills aimed at increasing access to quality and equitable education in the state.
The bills are for Law to Provide 30 per cent Appointment of Women in Education Sector at all Levels and a Law Banning Hawking and Begging During School Hours.
Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, made the call at the opening of a two-day meeting with members of the Assembly to look at the two draft bills.
Adam explained that UNICEF supported Zamfara High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA), who along with former members of the Assembly and a team from ministry of justice developed the bills.
According to him, the bills were developed to ensure that children have access to quality basic education and women have increased opportunities of being appointed in decision making positions in the education sector.
“The bills have reached advanced stage but could not be passed due to the 2019 electioneering activities, change of leadership and insecurity challenges that bedeviled the state.
“This meeting is, therefore, organised to bring the new leadership of the House of Assembly into perspective to look at the draft bills and facilitate further action towards passing the bills.
“UNICEF hope that the present Zamfara State House of Assembly will give the two bills accelerated passage,” he said.
He reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to supporting HiLWA in advocating and mobilising stakeholders towards ensuring equitable and increased access to safe and quality education for all children, especially girls.
Adam commended Zamfara Government for prioritising education and urged it to scale up interventions being supported by UNICEF under Basic Education Programme.
Also speaking, an Education Specialist, UNICEF Abuja, Mrs Azuka Menkiti, said that objective of the meeting was to acquaint new members of the Assembly with the two bills and the progress so far made.
Menkiti added that the meeting was also to discuss the way forward and secure commitment of the legislators on the passage of the bill.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Nasiru Magarya, thanked HiLWA and UNICEF for organising the meeting to enlighten them on the bills and what they hoped to achieve.
Magarya, represented by the Chief Whip, Zarahdeen Sada, assured UNICEF, HiLWA and other stakeholders of support towards providing education to the people.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Maharazu Ahmed