The United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is mobilising journalists to drive discussions and increase awareness against barriers to girl-child education in Kaduna State.
Mr Istifanus Akau, the State Partnership Facilitator, FCDO’s governance programme, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) said at a two-day Media Strategic Session in Zaria on Tuesday, that media engagement was critical to promoting girl education.
Akau said the meeting was organised by PERL in collaboration with Kaduna State Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM) and Jalad Media Concept.
He explained that PERL, a governance programme in Nigeria funded by FCDO was aimed at bringing government and citizens together to address governance challenges associated with service delivery.
According to him, the objective of the media strategic session is to push for continued engagement on identified social norms and other barriers and bottlenecks to girl-child education.
Akau said that the meeting was also to develop effective media engagement plan to deepen and guide the conversation toward influencing behavioural change on girl education in Kaduna State.
He explained that the media engagement was in line with the UK’s resolve to contribute to global commitment to get 40 million girls into education and 20 million girls reading by age of 10.
The partnership facilitator said that the commitment was in line with SDG–4 towards achieving inclusive and quality education for all as a proven vehicle for sustainable development.
“This goal is to ensure that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030.”
He pointed out that education remained a top priority of the Kaduna state government, with a commitment to improve basic education.
He added that the government equally made a commitment to ensure that all children, particularly girls in difficult circumstances, ethnic minorities have access to quality basic education.
“The government also introduced a “Second Chance Education” initiative to provide further studying opportunities for girls that dropped out of school due to domestic demands, especially early marriage.
“The state further introduced “Edu-Marshall” to enforce compulsory school attendance, combat truancy and return children to schools,” Akau said.
Earlier, Mrs Hadiza Umar, Co-Chair (Citizens), Open Government Partnership, stressed the critical role of the media in creating the needed awareness on girl-child education in Kaduna State.
Umar explained that the OGP, which Kaduna State had signed unto, had provided a co-creation opportunity for the government and citizens to sit together to plan and implement projects and programmes.
She urged the media to tap into the window provided by the OGP to drive conversation around barriers and bottlenecks to girl education in the state.
She said that most of the barriers revolve around security, socio-cultural, economy, infrastructure, and water, sanitation, and hygiene, adding that the media had a critical role to play in addressing the barriers.
Culled from NAN