Tarime — TARIME Urban legislator Esther Matiko has backed up Mara regional authority's initiative on girl-child education that envisages guaranteeing girls free access to learning.
Despite guaranteeing access to education, the initiative also seeks to combat all sorts of gender related violence.
The lawmaker, addressing a public rally at Serengeti grounds here over the weekend, revealed strategic plans to support Mara Regional Commissioner Adam Malima's directive that, "Under no circumstance should a girl child drop out of school and miss the chance to go for further studies."
She said financial and structural plans were afoot at the wards and Tarime Township Council to upgrade three secondary schools in Nyandoto, Mogabiri and Nyamisangura to Advanced level education.
Ms Matiko told the gathering that women empowerment, especially girls was among her top priorities. She commended the government efforts, through the RC and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Mara RC has already embarked on special operation to arrest all criminals in the region who may have in one way or another colluded in GBV, including female genital mutilation and child marriages.
During his visit here last week, the premier ordered the regional education authorities to ensure that all enrolled students especially girls to commence standard one studies and sail through to higher learning institutions as per their capacities without any obstacles. Ms Matiko said being a woman herself she was determined to champion the project and position herself as a real symbol of gender equality for teenage girls in the region.
"Following the geographical location of Tarime Urban constituency that has eight wards and 81 streets, we plan to upgrade the three schools into girls' advanced level schools to facilitate enrolment of girls from remote areas," said the first elected woman MP in the district. Explaining her strategies, she said the success of the initiative depends on fund availability on the central government, constituency basket, the council and voluntary education stakeholders, irrespective of political affiliation.