By Abbas Bamalli
Maulid Warfa, the Chief, UNICEF Kano Field Office, has advised the State Government to put in place legal system on violence against children.
Warfa made the call on Tuesday in Kano during the dissemination of research findings on impact of violence in schools on girls education in Nigeria.
The event was organised by the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) in collaboration with the UNICEF.
The UNICEF chief, who was represented by the Senior Education Manager, Michael Banda, also called for zero tolerance to any form of violence on children either in schools or communities.
“The findings today have been outstanding because it shows that violence in schools are almost a norm, meaning that it has been accepted by teachers and by the learners.
“That corporal punishment and other forms are a norm is the beginning of our struggle to ensure that norm is no longer a norm.
“For UNICEF, we are going to ensure that teachers understand that there are alternatives to discipline a child without resorting to corporal or other forms of physical or psychological punishment,” Warfa
In his remarks, the state Chairman of SUBEB, Dr Danlami Hayyo said there are plans by the state government to introduce and impose a law to ensure that the girl-child completed secondary school before marriage.
According to Hayyo, the law will help to increase the literacy level among the girl child in the state.
“Government should have put the law in place long ago. This is because in some areas, most of the children especially girls at the primary or junior secondary school get married before finishing.
“If the the law is established, it will help to produce girl children in all fields of work who will take charge where their services are needed.
”It will also bridge gaps where in some cases women need the service of their women folks but left with no option than to be attended to by male counterparts,” he said.
On free education, Hayyo said that many parents have resorted to withdrawing their children from private to public schools in the state to benefit from the compulsory free education initiated by the government.
He said that the state had approved the counterpart fund of N1.5 billion with 800 million already released to benefit from the UBEC interventions.
”In fact, some parents now withdraw their children from private schools to public schools to benefit from the intervention, so the number of out of school has reduced,” Hayyo said.
Also, Ms Hadiza Umar, a member of the team who presented finding of the research, said that 60 per cent out of the 13.2 million out of school children in the country were girls and in Northern states.
Umar attributed this to various forms of violence against them while in the school, adding that corporal punishment and emotional violence are top on the list meted on girls.