Over 400 girls from a less privileged background in Maiduguri have been awarded scholarship to further their education. The scholarship award which was done in commemoration of the investiture of the third chairperson and other executive committee members of the association of professional women engineers in Nigeria, (APWEN) Borno state chapter, was to promote and encourage girl-child education from the educationally backward state of Borno, the northeast and the nation in general.
According to Engr. Kari Shettima, the 3rd Chairperson of APWEN while justifying the professional association’s decision to prioritize and champion female education said the women from the northeast have been at the receiving end of the over a decade insurgency rampaging the region as most of them have been widowed and many children left at their mercies. She stated that most of the women in IDP camps have challenges of catering for their children in addition to the agony of losing their husbands and means of livelihood as they hardly have any skills on trade or vocation that could have complemented the handouts given them by government.
On her part, the guest speaker at the occasion, Dr. Zainab Gimba disclosed that the role of women in the society cannot be over emphasized rather, they have been undervalued and underappreciated due largely to culture and tradition which is against the woman folk in the northeast region. She said women have a right to aspire to attain the highest level of education so long as she desires to, but the society, which is guided mostly by culture and religion have denied women their legitimate right to be educated thereby stalling the growth and development of the society that would have been engineered by these women.
The event was highlighted by the donation of #100,000 checks to female pupils selected from poor rural communities across the state. The Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN) is a branch of the Nigerian society of engineers and the Maiduguri chapter was inaugurated in 2015 and the new chairman in her acceptance speech declared that her exco will prioritize educating the women folk as her sole project for the next two years.