COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE ONE-DAY COMMUNITY DIALOGUE ON GIRL CHILD EDUCATION BY COALITION OF ASSOCIATION’S FOR LEADERSHIP, PEACE, EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (CALPED).
On the 12th May, 2023, Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development(CALPED), Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Kaduna State Chapter with Support from Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), facilitated a community dialogue on girl education with a faith based women community, ECWA Women Fellowship, Ungwan Boro LCC, in Kaduna state. The membership, drawn from five church assemblies, have committed to taking action in addressing barriers affecting women empowerment and social development across their communities.
The dialogue was implemented under a girl education program, COURAGE. COURAGE is committed to providing support for community led solutions on issues affecting girl education.
The objectives of the dialogue includes: to sensitize community actors on the need for action towards increasing girl’s enrollment, retention and completion of basic and post basic education; galvanize for more community efforts for girls to transit beyond secondary to tertiary education; increase consciousness on the linkage between girl education and poverty and the resultant effect on society.
The ECWA Women Fellowship Ungwan Boro Local Church Council (LCC) is an umbrella of five churches or local church boards (LCB) women assemblies. The organization, which focuses on missions that impact on faith, women empowerment, human capital development, social protection and community building in its monthly assembly meeting, partnered to have its members sensitized on the need for inclusive girl education.
Through storytelling, presentations and interactive sessions from facilitators, the participants were able to reflect and appraise some of the barriers faced by the girl child, and the low level of attention the crisis is given by community members.
Participants also echoed the increasing rise of out of school girls in their communities with growing concerns around reproductive health, life expectancy, gender based violence and abuse.
With low level of skills, even life skills, it was identified that girls are increasingly becoming vulnerable, low income earners and are at risk of growing quickly into responsibilities and roles they are not so prepared for.
Safer communities are at risk with the dysfunctional effects of girls with little or no level of education especially around increased poverty, life expectancy, anti social norms amongst other existing challenges.
Barriers to inclusive girl education were communicated through storytelling, with issues the women community are quite familiar with, in which they are able to identify their roles as individuals and a group in lowering these barriers and reducing the number of out of school girls and women with little or no education.
For an inclusive society, inclusive education, which allows learners irrespective of disability, to learn together, is critical. Community actors agreed that children be enrolled in school, regardless of their abilities, in order to have a better society that rejects stigmatization.
Issues affecting education, learning and empowerment cannot be tackled by the government alone, and communities as a part of government, need to help reduce the number of out of school children.
Stakeholders unanimously agreed that inclusive girl education begins at the family and community level, where parents and stakeholders ensure that all children attend school regardless of gender or disability.
In the course of the community dialogue, the following resolutions were discussed and agreed.
The women assembly affirmed that something needs to be done towards stemming the increasing number of out of school children especially girls within their communities of residence and influence.
The leadership of the women assembly will hold consultative meetings to identify actions that are within their capacity to engage towards reducing the number of out of school girls within their community.
The women community will continue to partner with programmes such as this towards actualizing set goals and targets as will be necessitated from subsequent consultations amongst the various branches of the fellowship under the local church council.
The Christian Education Secretary assured of the support of the education secretariat of the LCC, towards the development of next steps, goals settings and initiatives the women will pursue in tackling challenges affecting inclusive girl education in their communities.
COURAGE will continue to provide the needed support to the leadership of the LCC women fellowship alongside branches in delivering on the targets the women group will set for improving learning and empowerment for girls in their communities.
Mrs Ladi Tedi Tete
ECWA Women Fellowship
Ungwan Boro LCC
Kaduna State Chapter