Girls’ Education: PERL, Media Chart Way Forward
By: Femi Mustapha
The Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) and Journalists on Tuesday mapped out strategies to tackle the barriers to girls’ child education in Kaduna.
Speaking at a review meeting organized by PERL with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the State team lead of PERL, Abel Adejor said the Media is a key partner to being succoured to the barriers, therefore tasked the participants to use their influence via their reportage that stakeholders do the needful.
Speaking on the objectives of the interactions, Istifanus Akau, the State Facilitator of PERL, said it is meant to support media partners to Scale-up implementation of specific activities in the media engagement strategy to increase understanding and influence behavioural change on negative barriers to girl education.
He explained that the meeting was to review the progress and partners’ efforts implementation of the strategy.
Akau stressed that the engagement was to deepen and sustain a civic conversation on barriers to girl education using various media platforms.
He said, though the Kaduna State Government has been doing a lot of reforms in the education sector, the media need to lead discussions around these reforms to bring both the demand and supply sides together to remove or lower the identified barriers.
In his presentation, Martins Dangwa of Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM) highlighted Security challenges, Socio-cultural and non Inclusion as the major barriers hindering girl child education in Kaduna.
According to him, some LGAs like Birnin-Gwari, Zango Kataf, Kajuru, Igabi and part of Kaura have witnessed insecurity of recent which has resulted in students and teachers fleeing their duty post.
In most circumstances, according to him, the girl child is most affected, which is worrisome.
Similarly, Mr. Leslie Dongh of Natsa Foni Foundation affirmed that a non-inclusive learning environment because the infrastructure in most schools are not disability-friendly due to lack of ramps, wide doors, etc.
According to him, schools lack essential learning and teaching materials, such as white canes, brails, interpreters, itinerant teachers, etc.
” Lack of safe spaces/functional guidance and counselling units: Lack of safe and protective school environment and viable counselling services are contributing to girls dropping out of school.