Media executives have been tasked to intensify efforts in the campaign for policy document and implementation framework for a free and compulsory education for girls in public schools in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria.
At a breakfast meeting on Wednesday in Kaduna, the Executive Director of Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), Mr. Iliya Kure observed that the gains associated with educating the girl-child cannot be quantified.
The meeting, he emphasized, was aimed at not only sensitizing participants on the free and compulsory education for girls’ but also galvanising support for AMDF in Advocating for Policy formulation on the programme.
Kure enjoined the participants to task their producers, presenters and reporters to leverage on their education programmes, and other current affairs programmes to drum support for a policy document and implementation framework for free education in the state.
Contributing, the Project Manager, Mr. Benjamin Yunana Maigari noted that the project which seeks a policy document to back the free education for girls’ pronouncement by the state government would entail that girls in Kaduna state are not only enrolled in schools, but they are retained unto completion.
The Kaduna state government had in September 2018 declared a free and compulsory education Programme for girls in public secondary schools across the state.
“However, as laudable as the program, there is no policy document and implementation framework to ensure its effective implementation and sustainability.
“The 2016-2020 Kaduna State Development Plan revealed that an estimated 37% of students drop out by year 6 of primary school, and only 23% of all female students’ complete school.
“But with a framework signed and implemented, the Kaduna State Ministry of Education predicts that the completion rate of female students in public secondary schools will increase from the current 23% to 53% and impact more than 224,000 girls in secondary schools across the state.
“To this effect, AMDF is supporting Kaduna State Ministry of Education to close the gender gap in education in the State; a state with poor education outcomes, including low student attendance and high dropout rates.
Hence, Maigari charged the participants to join AMDF and Kaduna State Government in the promotion of girl-child education, and also monitor the implementation of the policy once launched by the government for an improved education outcome in the state.
Responding, the Acting General Manager, Liberty Radio and Television, Mal. Abdulkadir Lere decried the non-existence of a policy to back the free education programme for girls in Kaduna, without which he said, the education of girls is at stake. Lere, who described the project as a laudable initiative pledged the station’s commitment to support AMDF through the process to ensure girls in the state have access to education.
On his part, the Programmes Manager, Freedom Radio, Mal. Zakari Aminu acknowledged the contributions of AMDF especially in building the capacity of journalists in Kaduna. He lauded the effort of the organization in promoting girls’ education and pledged the Station’s support towards the success of the process.
The project, Advocating for Policy Formulation and Adoption of Free and Compulsory Education for Girls in Public Secondary Schools in Kaduna State, is being implemented by the Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF and funded by Rise Up, a program of the Public Health Institute, through funding from the Cummins Foundation.