FG, UNICEF, Others Move To Eliminate Gender Disparity In Education

The Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have launched the National policy on gender in education.

Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba chaired the launching ceremony of the policy which held on Monday, November 15, 2021 in Abuja.

TheFact Nigeria gathered that the national policy on gender in basic education launched in 2006 failed to prevent the massive number of girls dropping out of secondary schools, hence the need to extend the national policy beyond the basic level of education.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Education, Arc Sonny Echono who was represented by the Director Human Resources Management, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. David Gende posited that the Ministry had done a lot in the area of improving access and retention in schools.

However, despite those efforts, a large number of girls and boys were still out of school. He therefore urged all the stakeholders present to ensure those children return to school.

Echono further stated that the revised National Policy on Gender in Education was a step in the right direction as it cut across all levels of education, captured emerging issues, cross cutting issues and a whole lot more.

He urged all sectors and states to ensure that it is used as a tool for achieving not only gender equality and equity but achievement of SDG 2030 Agenda.

UNICEF representative, Saadhna Panday said:
“There is a rich store of data on the benefits accruing to girls, women and to societies when investments are made in girls’ education, in particular secondary education.

“It dramatically increases the lifetime earnings of girls, child marriage rates decline; child mortality rates decline and child stunting drops.

“Nigeria has made bold strides in closing the gender gap in education, but significant regional disparities remain in enrollment, retention, and transition rates for girls.

“This is fueled by among other factors, high rates of poverty, safety and security concens, gender biases, social norms and traditions”, she explained.

Panday lamented the negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic and insecurity on education but expressed confidence that with the launch of the
National Policy on Gender in Education the country’s education will be back on track.

The leader, Technical Drafting Team, Prof. Aisha Ismail said the recently launched National Policy on Gender in Education was an all inclusive policy as it addressed issues ranging from gender based violence, inequality in education, among others.

Others dignitaries present at the launch included: Director, Basic Education, Dr. Folake Olatunji David, Director, Senior Secondary Education, Hajiya Binta Abdulkadir, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Higher Education and ICT, Abdoulaye Salifou, FCDO representative, Joanne Randle.

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