Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
As a result of the increase in gender based violence, which in turn affects school enrolment and attendance among others, the federal government has concluded plans for a policy formulation on safely and security in the country’s basic education system.
This will be in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), European Union and other relevant stakeholders.
This was revealed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu during a one-day strategic meeting, organised by Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) with the theme ‘Partnership on Strengthening Policies and Systems in Higher Institutions on Zero Tolerance on Sexual and Gender-based Violence.’
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Policy, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Fokake Olatunji David, said issue of gender is not only girl-child related, as it also affects the boys, thereby increasing the numerical status of out- of-school children who are molested not just in their way to and from school, but also within the school premises.
According to the minister, “The federal government has concluded plans to put in place a policy on safety and security in our schools, especially at the basic level. This will be in collaboration with UNICEF, EU and other partners. This policy still in the pipeline is expected to have stakeholders key into it towards ensuring that our schools are safe.
“Frameworks are also welcomed to implement the policy. The Federal Ministry of Education will look at best practices around the world that can be leveraged upon. Issues on gender violence are multi faceted and must be dealt with in stages and different categories. It has no gender even though women are more prone, no age, limits, status, class or even barrier.
“There is low participation of girls in school and not just at the basic level. Ratio of girls to boys is not encouraging. When talking about gender based violence, it must be noted that it is not referring to just girls, as boys are also affected.
“The issue of out of school children has been worrisome and we are struggling to see that they return to school. One reason why they are not in school is as a result of insecurity. Parents will prefare to keep the girls at home, rather than send them to where they can’t guarantee their safety.
“They are molested on roads and even in school. To have an educated society, we need to educate our women. There is need for us to make our schools safe enough,” the minister said.