After several years of playing the second fiddle, the girl-child appears to be making progress not only in terms of enrolment in school but also in terms of outperforming her male counterparts
The picture of the smiling young school leaver, Sandra Anazor, at the Anambra State Government Lodge, with a cheque of N2.22 million in hand, and flanked by her parents as well as Peter Obi, governor of Anambra State, was one that elicited joy in the heart of not just her parents but her teachers also.
Anazor, an indigene of Anambra State, was honoured last February by the state government for her academic feat. She deserved the honour by polling the highest scores in separate examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, and National Examinations Council, NECO, examinations, leading to her invitation to the Government House. Her achievement, as inspiring as it is, is not an isolated one.
Across the country, young girls are defying the odds and setting new academic standards thus attracting to themselves tremendous goodwill. For instance, last year, Machado Adebowale, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, emerged the overall winner in the maiden edition of the Budding Engineers, Scientists and Technologists, BEST, Competition organised by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja.
Adebowale recorded 81.33 per cent in a contest against 22 other undergraduates of engineering, science and technology-related disciplines in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
For her efforts, Adebowale was rewarded with a cash prize of N250,000, a laptop and iPad. Last year also, at the fourth convocation ceremony of Crescent University, Abeokuta, 21-year-old Fatimo Adeniyi was named as the best graduating student of the university.
Adeniyi, who made first class honours, was an accounting student. She emerged the best graduating student with a cumulative grade points aggregate of 4.58 during the 2012 convocation involving three colleges: College of Social and Management Sciences, COSMAS, College of Information and Communication Sciences, CICOT, and College of Natural and Applied Sciences, CONAS.