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Monday, June 17, 2024

Girl-child education: UK organisation mobilises traditional, religious leaders

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The United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) governance programme says it is mobilising traditional and religious leaders to address barriers to girl-child education in Kaduna State.

Mr Istifanus Akau, the State Partnership Facilitator of the programme, Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), made this known at a two-day interactive session with traditional and religious leaders in Kano on Wednesday.

Akau explained that PERL in collaboration with Kaduna State Basic Education Accountability Coalition (KADBEAM) was enlisting the support of the traditional and religious leaders to join forces to address girl-child education in the state.

He said that the objective of the engagement was to mobilise the traditional and religious leaders to lend their voices in promoting girl-child education in their various communities.

According to him, traditional and religious institutions are being mobilised to advocate the removal of security, political, socio-cultural and all forms of barriers to girl-child education in the state.

Akau said the move will further strengthen collaboration between citizens, traditional and religious leaders toward addressing identified barriers to girl-child education.

“This is part of PERL’s effort toward bringing together governments and citizens groups at both the federal and the state level to address governance challenges associated with service delivery.

“PERL’s Engaged Citizens Pillar works with a wide range of citizen groups and supports the groups to represent citizens’ voice and bring citizens’ priorities to the government in an effective way.

“The programme also supports citizens to hold the government to account in the implementation of policies and budget commitment to improving the quality of life of the citizens.”

According to him, the Kaduna state government accords priority to education and has introduced reforms to improve access to quality education by all children, particularly girls to complete basic and secondary education.

Akau added that the government equally introduced a Second Chance Education initiative for girls who dropped out of school due to domestic and other demands.

He urged the traditional and religious leaders to support the efforts and engage the government to fulfil its commitment of ensuring girls were in school.

Also speaking, the Co-Chair, KADBEAM, Mr Tijjani Aliyu said that mobilising traditional and religious leaders was crucial, pointing out that not much would be achieved without the support of traditional and religious institutions.

Also, the Co-Chair (Citizens), Open Government Partnership, Mrs Hadiza Umar, appealed for the support of the traditional and religious institutions to address barriers to girl-child education in their communities.

Mr Sani Galadima, the Deputy Director, Chieftaincy Matters, Ministry of Local Government Affairs in Kaduna State, commended PERL and KADBEAM for their support.

Galadima said that the state government was currently reforming and repositioning the traditional institution with a view to improving their working condition and empowering them to contribute to social development.

He said that if properly positioned, the traditional and religious institutions would effectively enforce laws, promote discipline, and safeguard society from evil and unethical behaviours.

“Our doors shall continue to remain open for the partnership to develop communities and address societal vices,” he said. (NAN)

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