By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), on Tuesday lauded journalists in Kaduna State for the efforts in promoting girls education in the state.
State Team Lead of PERL, in Kaduna, Abel Adejo, gave the commendation at a meeting to review the implementation of strategies towards addressing barriers to girls education.
He said no program can pay media practitioners for the kind of work they do in making sure issues around girls education addressed.
Adejo, noted that the meeting was key following the commitments make by the media few months ago to ensure all barriers to girls education are brought to the fore and effectively addressed.
He urged the media not to relent in bringing forward issues affecting girls education and also ensure they remain at the forefront of projecting programs initiated by development partners so as to help sustain them when the programs end.
Enumerating the barriers to girls education, Martin Dangwa, in his presentation, said insecurity, socia-cultural, economic, infrastructure, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and access to school are the major barriers impeding girls education in Kaduna state.
“The persistent security challenge in the State, especially banditry and kidnapping remain a potential threat to children especially girls. Engagement of non-professional security personnel as school security increases vulnerability of learners to all kinds of harassment and harmful abuses, and the lack of parameter fences in rural and semi-urban schools makes learners and school infrastructure vulnerable to local criminals and vandals.
“Girls who are forced into marriage prematurely are likely to drop out of school. Child pregnancy: Girls who get pregnant are most likely to drop out of school because parents marry them off to avoid being shamed and stigmatised.
“High burden of domestic chores and the role of caring for siblings affects girls’ attendance in school poorly, heavy workload on girls at home also leads to failure and poor performance in school. While poor understanding of the benefits derived from investing in the girl-child due to parents’ exposure results in non-prioritisation of girl education.”
He added that toilet facilities in some schools are insufficient with only a few schools having separate toilets for girls and lack of portable water and essential learning and teaching materials and safe spaces for girls is also a major contributor to girls dropping out of school.
“Walking long distance to schools has been identified as a barrier. Children have to walk long and unsafe distances to get to schools.
“The practice of sexual harassment especially of the girl-child has continued to thrive without sanctions for violators. No continues teacher development and training on inclusive education practices and child protection policies in schools.” Dangwa said.