The wife of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Aishatu, said on Saturday that she never went to school in her parent’s house and that she had no formal education as of the time she married her husband because her parents never believed in educating the girl child.
Speaking in Bauchi at the ‘Naija Youth Talk’ organised by the Field Office of the United Nations Children Fund in the state, she said she started school after her third child.
She said, “I was 16 years old and a stark illiterate when I married my husband. We were 100 girls in my family but none of us went to school; I had never been to primary school in my parent’s house. I only started school after my third child. This was because our parents never believed in educating the girl-child; I struggled to go school, but they refused.”
She decried the high rate of illiteracy and early marriage among young girls in the state, blaming the situation on parents who believed formal education for the girl-child was a mere waste of resources.
“I picked the challenge to be educated from my brothers and after I had my third child, I insisted that my husband should get me a home teacher. That was how I started and I later went to secondary school. Today I am a graduate of Public Administration from the University of Abuja.”
Mohammed, who emphasised the importance of educating not only the girl-child but also young people in the society, added that such move would curb crimes and social vices in the society.
She called on relevant government agencies and organisations to ensure that parents and caregivers were adequately sensitised to the need to allow young boys and girls go to school.
She also admonished young people to go into meaningful ventures that would enable them to be independent rather than wait for white-collar jobs.
She added, “One of my sons is today a farmer. His father was a senator and minister and today a governor, yet he is into farming business. Same goes to his sister who is into catering. I always encourage my children to be self-reliant, so I am challenging all of you here today.”