By Muhammad Nasir
Sokoto, June 8, 2022
ActionAid Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on the Sokoto State Government to redouble efforts at addressing learning barriers and bridging the infrastructural gaps across schools in the state.
The ActionAid Project Coordinator, Ms Kyauta Giwa, made the call on Wednesday in Sokoto during a validation meeting.
The meeting was preparatory to the close of the project, tagged ”Tax Justice, Gender Responsive Public Service and Breaking Barriers,” being implemented in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is anchored by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Rural Women and Youth Development (RUWOYD) and funded by Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation (NORAD).
Giwa urged the state government, using its various ministries and agencies to continue prioritising the full implementation of inclusive education policy in the state.
“ The Breaking Barrier Project has supported the state in showcasing the plight of children living with disabilities and ways to ensure uniform learning environment to both normal and physically challenged children.
“ There is need to also continue to support the translation of the school-based management committees’ policy into Hausa language to ease understanding of members in order to achieve greater successes.
“ The government should also strengthen mechanism to curb sexual and gender-based violence in schools,” Giwa said.
The coordinator further said that ActionAid Nigeria had successfully implemented three major projects in Sokoto state within the last 14 years.
She listed the projects to include, “Enhancing Girls Basic Education in Northern Nigeria (EGBENN),” I and II from 2005 to 2008 and 2008 to 2011 respectively.
She said that the project was aimed at improving enrollment, retention and completion of girls in basic education with support from Oxfam Novib.
“Between 2015 and 2017, with funding support from MacArthur Foundation, we implemented the Promoting Girls’ Enrollment and Retention in Secondary School (PROGRESS), aimed at encouraging girls to have access to quality Secondary education.
“In 2018 ActionAid Nigeria under the strategic partnership agreement with ActionAid International secured a four year funding from NORAD for the implementation of a multi country project in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria.
“Due to the impact of COVID-19, the project was granted a no cost extension till June 2022, aimed at ensuring all children, especially girls and marginalised children have equal access to free, quality, publicly-funded, inclusive public education,” she said.
Giwa added that the project sought to address some key barriers that prevented children, especially girls and other vulnerable from accessing their right to free, quality and inclusive public education.
“However, this validation and close out meeting is aimed at sharing findings from the end-line study, experiences, key lessons and results achieved, during the project implementation,” she said.
Giwa advised stakeholders to take decisive steps to ensure increase as well as timely releases of funds allocated to the education sector in order to improve the quality of education.
Speakers at the meeting include the State commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Alhaji Bello Gwiwa, represented by Hajiya Luba Kasim and District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi
The duo described the project as being of immense importance towards ensuring quality and inclusive education in Sokoto state.
NAN reports that the highlight of the occasion was the presentation of certificates to major stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the project.