Give girl-child education priority, NGO tasks political parties’ candidates

Ibadan – An NGO, Onelife Initiative, has rallied relevant stakeholders in the education sector for a consultative meeting on the need to task candidates of various political parties to give girl-child education priority.

The consultation meeting, titled: “2023 Elections: Transforming Basic Education in Oyo State” was put together by Onelife Initiative and Youthhub Africa with support from Malala Fund.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was held at the Seminar Hall, International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Mr Sola Fagorusi, Executive Director, Onelife Initiative,
said the consultative meeting became necessary as the nation was preparing for another general elections.

Fagorusi said the meeting was
part of a national manifesto “Ask” to unlock the power of education at the Federal, State and Local levels.

He said that the “Ask” from the event would be put together and forward to the governorship and legislative candidates of the various political parties.

According to him, “Ask” is to press them in considering girl-child education as a priority, upon assumption of office by any of the candidates in May 2023.

“Some of these ‘Ask’ for the girl-child education at the federal level include: making senior secondary education free and fair; funding education more and better and making schools safe,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr Abiodun Abdul-Raheem, the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, commended the Initiative for its recurring concern about girl -child education in the state.

Abdul-Raheem, represented by the Director of Schools, Mrs Olukemi Bolaji, said, “it is high time we all came together to face challenges in the transformation of education and that of the state of the girl-child.”

He said the concerted efforts from all the stakeholders was required in finding solutions to the problems.

The commissioner listed some of the state government’s efforts in the education sector, as, “the resuscitation of the School Governing Boards, Intervention Classes for Senior Secondary School Students.

“The employment of qualified and competent teachers and education officers in 2021, including the annual celebration of the girl-child are some of the progress made thus far by Gov. Seyi Makinde-led administration.

NAN reports that the the consultation meeting ended with some recommendations, including fencing of all school perimeters to improve security and provision of recreational facilities for girls in schools.

The meeting also recommended that the girl-child should be placed in schools closer to their guardians/parents’ homes or workplace.

It was also suggested that there should be mentorship programme for the girls as well as exchange programmes for the girls and teachers.

The meeting called for review of educational policies and inclusion of girl-child specific contents, among others.

NAN also reports that representatives from the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion; Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB); National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) and Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) attended the meeting.(NAN)

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