Onelife Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on relevant stakeholders in the education sector to task candidates of various political parties on prioritising girl-child education.
In a consultation meeting titled: “2023 Elections: Transforming Basic Education in Oyo State” organised by the NGO in partnership with Youthhub Africa, with support from Malala Fund.
Sola Fagorusi, the Executive Director of Onelife Initiative, said the meeting held at the Seminar Hall, International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, became necessary as the general elections were drawing near.
Fagorusi added that the meeting was part of a national manifesto “Ask” aimed at unlocking the power of education at the federal, state and local levels.
He further stated that the meeting’s result would be compiled and forwarded to the governorship and legislative candidates of the various political parties.
The Executive Director said “Ask” is to prompt them to prioritise girl-child education, upon assumption of office by any of the candidates in May 2023.
“Some of these ‘Ask’ for the girl-child education at the federal level include: making senior secondary education free and fair; funding education more and better and making schools safe,” he said.
Dr Abiodun Abdul-Raheem, Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology in Oyo State, praised the ongoing efforts to prioritise girl-child education in the state.
Represented by the Director of Schools, Olukemi Bolaji, Abdul-Raheem emphasised the importance of coming together to tackle the challenges in education transformation, particularly for young girls.
He stressed the need for collective action from all stakeholders to find solutions to the issues at hand.
Listing some of the State Government’s efforts in the education sector: “the resuscitation of the School Governing Boards, Intervention Classes for Senior Secondary School Students.
“The employment of qualified and competent teachers and education officers in 2021, including the annual celebration of the girl-child are some of the progress made thus far by Gov. Seyi Makinde-led administration.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the consultation meeting concluded with a series of recommendations aimed at improving the education of young girls in Oyo State.
The recommendations included fencing school perimeters for enhanced security, providing recreational facilities, placing girls in schools closer to their guardians/parents, launching a mentorship program and teacher exchange program, and incorporating girl-specific content in educational policies.
Attendees of the meeting included representatives from the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), National Teachers' Institute (NTI), and Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT).