Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has disclosed that year in, year out, less than 60 per cent of those registering for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, are girls.
The JAMB registrar, therefore, advised Nigerians against discriminating against the girl-child, particularly in the area of education.
Mr Oloyede stated this at a lecture commemorating the elevation of Morufat Balogun to the rank of a Professor and the 55th birthday celebration of her husband, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in Ibadan on Sunday.
Mrs Balogun was recently elevated to the rank of professor of Genetics by the University of Ibadan.
NAN also reports that the theme of the celebration was: “Celebration of the Girl-child Education.”
The JAMB registrar said that education of every child, whether male or female, mattered, maintaining, however, that more attention should be given to education of the girl-child.
“Every child, male or female, deserves to be educated.
“From the statistics available from the university, if you go to the registration centre now, you will see that less than 60 per cent of those registering for JAMB are girls.
“This used to be from a particular part of the country before but it spread the whole of the country. We must change our slogan, as education of every child matters,” Mr Oloyede said.
Speaking on the new professor, Mr Oloyede noted that her father gave birth to seven daughters, some of whom were now doctor, pharmacist and lecturer, among others.
According to him, given birth to only females by the father of the professor has not reduced anything from him, adding that it was an indication that everyone must strive to educate the children, either males or females.
In their separate lectures, Prof. Afis Oladosu, of Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan and Dr Khadijat Shobowale, of Lagos State University, LASU, stressed the importance of education.
Mrs Shobowale said that Islam had made seeking of knowledge compulsory, irrespective of gender.
“More than 800 verses of the Quran reiterated the importance of knowledge. So, there is definitely no reason for you not to get educated.
“If you have people who are still preventing the girl-child from getting educated, it should be attributed to societal and cultural norms, and not Islam,” she said.
In her remarks, Mrs Balogun said that the celebration of the girl-child education was borne out of the need to increase awareness on more effective utilisation of women.
She said that the celebration was also to appreciate God and her husband, who had been a pillar of support to her.
Mrs Balogun also appreciated her parents, colleagues, religious organisations and others for their support.
“It is against this background that I announce, on behalf of GAKOF Foundation, the commencement of an annual award of N200,000 to the best M. Sc student in Vitro-biology Plant.
“This is to appreciate the contributions of our parents, Alhaji Ganiyu and the late Alhaja Kudirat Oladimeji, to the girl-child education.
“This will be done in collaboration with the University of Ibadan Post-graduate School,” she said.