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Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has advocated a synergy among stakeholders to build a future where every child can grow up safe, healthy and empowered to fulfill their potentials.

The First Lady who made the call on Monday at the occasion of the 2024 Children’s Day Celebration held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti, the state capital urged stakeholders to invest in children’s health, education, and protection, prioritizing resources where they are needed most.

Dr. Oyebanji expressed optimism that there is hope for Ekiti children despite many global challenges as there exists the wherewithal to effect change and build a better future for children through concerted efforts of stakeholders like governments, civil society, the private sector and international organizations.

She said the theme for this year’s celebration, “Enhancing the Total Wellbeing of the Nigerian Child through Quality Education and Skill Development” is apt and in sync with the governance agenda of Governor Biodun Abayomi Administration which prioritizes the welfare and wellbeing of children in the state.

Dr. Oyebanji expressed gratitude to the state government for its efforts at ensuring that every Ekiti child is in school with the free education policy of government from primary school to secondary school level with the schools equipped with facilities and well-staffed.

According to her, all stakeholders must appreciate the need for qualitative education and skill development of the Nigerian child stressing that “every child is God’s gift to humanity” adding that “children are assets.”

She posited that education plays a crucial role in the national development of a country, impacting various aspects such as social progress, economy, and wellbeing. She expressed delight that Ekiti children are in school and they are assessing free and qualitative basic education with curricula that prepare them adequately for further learning or job market.

The First Lady also revealed the priority attention given to special schools by the state government as the schools have experienced massive transformation through sustained collaboration with development partners.

She said: “Due attention is accorded children with special needs. Therapists and some other professionals have been employed for the three special schools. The State Government’s collaboration with development partners and the World Bank for the development of education in the State has been yielding results.

“Programmes such as the Adolescents Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) Innovation, Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) have enhanced greatly the quality of education and skill development of Ekiti children.

“I thank our partners and all stakeholders for their collaboration. Quality education enhances holistic development of the child helping them to discover their individual strengths with a view to utilizing them effectively. All stakeholders must appreciate the need for qualitative education and skill development of the Nigerian Child.”

The Governor’s wife equally disclosed that her pet project, Widows and Orphans Hope (WAOH) is targeted at assisting the educational development of indigent Ekiti children in addition to various intervention programmes of the state government.

While specifically addressing the children, Dr. Oyebanji enjoined them
to take advantage of the available resources by being focused, shunning vices and facing their studies in order to attain a bright future.

Acknowledging efforts of teachers, caregivers and workers in various schools for their invaluable contributions to the development of our children in Ekiti State, Dr. Oyebanji also charged parents and guardians must play their roles effectively at home in caring, monitoring and providing exemplary parenthood/guardianship to facilitate the balanced development of the children.

Dr. Oyebanji used the opportunity of the Children’s Day to flag off the statewide administration of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination for girls aged 9-14 years to protect them against cervical cancer.

She urged parents to ensure that their female children get vaccinated describing the vaccination as free, safe and effective.

In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Peju Babafemi, appreciated government various efforts at enhancing the right of the children in the state through quality education and skills development.

She urged parents, guardians and all stakeholders to instill right values in children and protect them from all forms of abuse, exploitation and violence.

In their goodwill messages, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Monisade Afuye; wife of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Olori Bosede Adejugbe and Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye represented by the lawmaker representing Oye Constituency 1, Hon. Temitope Longe celebrated with the children.

They urged the children to be good ambassadors of their families, face their studies, behave well and shun all violence tendencies for them to become great in the future and be useful to the society.

The ceremony also featured goodwill messages march past, cultural dance and presentation of gifts.

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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