The second annual workshop on girls’ education, organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) opens today, Monday, in Abuja.
The workshop has the theme Leadership and Management in Girls’ Education for GPE States.
It is aimed at improving the management and leadership skills of strategic education sector officials to deliver high performing girls’ education programmes by leveraging the opportunities provided by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) grants.
PREMIUM TIMES’ Hassan Adebayo and Oluwatoyosi Olawande are at the opening ceremony at the FCT Education Resources Centre to bring you live updates.
The opening ceremony just ended. The session now moves to the workshop proper.
The workshop has 40 of the most strategic officers with responsibility for implementing the Global Partnership for Education grants in Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto States.
Participating states are being called to give reflections from their states.
Jigawa State’s representative, Sani Halisu, says the main challenge the state faces is political interference.
However, he says in the 2017 budget, Jigawa plans to commit more funding to girl child education. He says that scholarship opportunities will be extended to teachers.
Kano State talking now.
Kano State disbursed N308,000 to over 900 primary schools.
The state is in the process of enlisting the service of CSOs to monitor utilisation of funds at the school level, says Kano representative.
In a Kano school, there were 25 girls, but within the space of disbursing funds to improve girl education, enrollment increased by 80 per cent, he said.
Scholarship opportunities worth N50,000 have been extended to over 200 trainee female teachers in Kano State, he adds.
In Sokoto, the key challenge is low capacity among staff of the Ministry of Education, the state’s representative says. He also mentions the challenge of leadership and good governance.
A representative of the Kano Emirate Council is now speaking.
He highlights the efforts of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, to improve girl child education in the state.
Examples of such efforts are the setting up of private schools for girls only, and the free classes for girls who are primary school dropouts and those who left at JSCE level.
In Sokoto State, the Sultan Foundation is encouraging an integration of Islamic and Western education, a representative of the body says.
The Sultan Foundation plans to establish a female only medical university, the representative discloses, adding that details will of the plan will be unveiled in the next three months.
Tea break just ended. Participants are now back to continue with the workshop.
Participants/field implementers are now being asked to make contributions towards development of new “gender mainstreaming strategy”.
But before the participants have the floor, the anchor invites the African Director of the McArthur Foundation, Professor Shettima, to to address the workshop.
Mr. Shettima says Nigeria should be proud for helping to develop a model on gender issues and girl education.
After Mr. Shettima’s remarks, participants are grouped according their states to brainstorm on gender mainstreaming and girl education policy.
The workshop is now moving to the Bolton White Apartment to continue with the session on “Group Work to Conduct Analysis of Education Plan”. The facilitators for the session will be drawn from the Nigerian Institute of Management and the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
But before the session at the Bolton Apartment commences, participants, mostly Muslims from Northwestern states, are to go observe Zuhr prayer and take lunch.
Representatives of the Kano Emirate Council and the Sultan Foundation are joined to form one group.
Except Kaduna and Sokoto State, other states don’t have a female representative at a workshop based on girl child education.
Each group is now ready to present the outcome of its brainstorming session. Katsina is the first to present.
Katsina State draws attention to the implication of girl only and female teacher-only scholarship opportunities from socio-cultural perspective.
Through GPE, female pupils and female teacher trainees are given N20,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Kaduna, like Katsina, says much focus on girl education only could lead to negligence of boys. It also emphasises focus on peculiar needs of each states and disintegration from federal policy.
Jigawa also says GPE should rather focus on both boys and girls. However, it mentions advantages of focus on girl education namely: reduction in cases early marriage; helping girls become role models; reduction in number girls out of school; self-employability for girls.
According to Jigawa State, the strategies for improving girl education are poverty alleviation; enlightenment; and free education.
Kano State emphasises focus on boys and girls. It says already there high rate of illiteracy among boys too.
Sokoto State says stand alone component for girls amounts to gender discrimination.
The girl child in Northern Nigeria is greatly disadvantaged, Paramalam says. She adds that the situation is so dire that there have been suggestions to declare a state of emergency in the the girl child education in the North.
Participants from Kaduna State in brainstorming session.
Prof Funmi Paramalam: Most people think “gender” automatically means “sex”. Sex refers to male and female attributes. Gender refers to the personal worth accorded to being male or female, the roles men/boys and women/girls play in the society and the status, power/privileges attached to those roles.
Gender is formed though social learning. And through the social learning, stereotypes emerge.
The facilitator makes distinction between gender roles and sex roles. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, insemination are sex roles because they biologically given. But roles that can be done by either with full competence like politics, farmers, sweeping are gender roles.
From Anthropological research, there are five cultures in the world where men do the cooking.
Gender is learnt and culture specific, Paramlam says.
The main important of gender analysis is gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming is policy focused, and it means working towards gender parity in education at all levels in order to ensure inclusiveness and equality between boys and girls. So, the issue of negligence of boys in gender issues does not arise. – Prof- Paramalam.
Components of Gender Analysis: 1.equal access to education in practice; 2.Uses men and women make of their education (does the social context allow the women to full use of their education); 3. Do women and men enroll in university subjects according to stereotypes; 4. Are men and women stereotyped in school curricula.
The over-riding of goal of gender analysis in education is to ensure adherence to principles of inclusiveness and equality for the good of the society.
Change strategies towards inclusive education: Teacher training: mindset change, curriculum review (stop saying policemen always but police officer to refer to men and women in police), environment and methodology.
Prof. Paramalam ends her presentation.
A participant from Sokoto State says “I want to tell you things are changing…men are now looking for women who are educated and have money.”
We need to mainstream, but unfortunately because of social, political and economic contexts of Nigeria, we still need to give special focus to girls/women, says Prof. Paramalam while responding to comments.