Education

Education: Religious leaders, others back gender policy review

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By Cecilia Ijuo

Some religious and other stakeholders are committed to ensuring the revision of the national policy on gender in basic education, in order to resolve the problems of inequality at all levels of education.

They said this in an interview with reporters at the end of a two-day zonal consultation and criticism meeting on the national gender policy in basic education in Abuja on Saturday.

Speaking, some of the clerics said their religions do not support gender inequality.

Abuja National Mosque Imam Dr Muhammad Kabir said the review process was a welcome development.

While urging religious leaders across the country to continue to preach gender equality, he noted that men and women should have “equal opportunities to learn.” This is what Islam says. “

He congratulated the organizers for making a giant leap in revising the policy in order to find a lasting solution to gender discrimination in the education sector.

“I found the document very relevant to the stated objectives. Of course, learning activities are part of mosque activities. We are therefore proud to participate in learning activities every day.

“We hope that once approved and implemented, the policy will yield positive results.

“We commend the organizers for broadening the scope of the review to include religious and traditional leaders as well as civil society organizations (CSOs).

“The Islamic religion is gender sensitive. That is why we guarantee a balance at all times. In fact, we allow both sexes to be active in all the activities that we do in the mosque, ”he said.

He urged parents not to discriminate against their male or female children, saying all humans were created by God with different potentials and should be given the opportunity to explore them.

In a separate interview, Reverend Marcus Onuoha, representing the Methodist Archbishop of Abuja, Bishop Joseph Oche Job, also preached the need for gender equality.

“As Methodists we believe in equity and gender balance because the Bible says that Jews or Gentiles, men or women, we are all one.

“So we don’t tolerate anything that encourages discrimination. We believe so much, especially in education, that gender equality must be given priority so that boys, girls, women or men have equal access to education.

“The God who created men is the same God who created women, so there is no need to discriminate.

“The Archbishop believes so strongly that gender equality must be taken into consideration in our education system,” he said.

He called on parents to pay attention to the education of both sexes, saying the family is the basic unit of society.

Dr Chinedu Osuji, a resource person at the meeting, said the essence of the review was to have a holistic gender policy in the education system.

Osuji, a lecturer at Federal College of Education Yola, said that with recent developments it was timely to review existing policy to keep it in line with current realities.

“We are looking at a large number of issues ranging from enrollment, employment, violence, insecurity and other gender issues that affect all levels of education.

“So we have produced a draft for the moment. After that, a final document called a draft will be produced and sent to the relevant authorities for approval, ”he said.

Dr Elizabeth Animoku, director of education planning, research and statistics at the Kogi Ministry of Education, said the policy review came at the right time.

“In some states we have the problem of girls who cannot go to school. In other states, it is boys who suffer from such marginalization.

“Statistics show, however, that in most cases girls are the most affected. I am a typical example.

“It took me everything to go to school to become who I am today because my father didn’t see fit to send me to school because I’m a girl,” he said. she declared.

Ms Felicia Ango, Director of Social Mobilization, Kebbi State Council for Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), said the policy, once approved, would provide the opportunity for people who could not attend schools conventional to receive an education.

According to her, there will be arrangements for a program that will appease their status to help them become self-reliant.

Mr. Kabiru Aliyu, Director of Social Mobilization, Sokoto State SUBEB, said the policy would include mechanisms to report security concerns, sexual harassment and other gender-related issues.

He stressed that “the policy will help tackle gender issues, including the issue of basic education security at tertiary level”.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the zonal meeting brought together participants from six northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The states are Plateau, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa.

Meanwhile, the national policy on gender in basic education entered into force in January 2006.

The 24-page document aims to promote equal access and participation in basic education, a high level of retention, completion and performance in basic education, as well as advocacy for support resource mobilization, among others.

However, it has not been revised since 2006, 15 years after its entry into force. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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