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Community leaders pledge support for girls’ education in Kaduna

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Some community leaders have pledged support to ongoing efforts by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), and other stakeholders to address barriers to girls’ education in Kaduna State.

The stakeholders made the pledge in Kaduna on Friday, on the sidelines of a one-day meeting on commitments to remove barriers to education of girls of all ages in the state.

Reports have it that the meeting was organised by PERL, a governance programme of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

PERL in collaboration with Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM), had in October 2021, mobilised stakeholders to address barriers to girls’ education in the state.

One of the traditional leaders, Alhaji Abdullahi Wada, Village Head of Unguwan Rimi South, told NAN that the traditional leaders would mobilise their communities to support girls’ education in the state.

Wada commended PERL for supporting them to carry out their duties of mobilising and supporting their people, particularly the girls, to acquire education.

“We are going all out to mobilise parents and community members to support girls’ education and discourage all forms of hindrance posed against girls to acquire education.

“We will visit ward to ward, house to house to sensitise our people on the importance of girls’ education and how together we can remove all barriers,” he said.

Mr Babasidi Kabir, Public Relations Officer, School-Based Management Committee (SBMCS), Kaduna North Local Government Area (LGA), said that the SBMCS would work with the traditional leaders to remove all blockage to girls’ education.

Kabir added that religious and political leaders, particularly counsellors, would also be mobilised to support the move with a view to ensuring community involvement in increasing girls’ access to quality education.

Also, Mrs Fatima Usman, a market woman, told our correspondent that supporting girls’ education was very fundamental to moving the society forward.

Usman said that early marriage, hawking and other factors preventing girls from being in school, must be addressed by all community members.

Earlier, PERL’s State Partnership Facilitator, Mr Istifanus Akau, said that the meeting was organised to increase stakeholders’ understanding on barriers and challenges to girls’ education in Kaduna state.

Akau added that the meeting was also organised to discuss implementation of commitments signed by stakeholders to champion advocacy on the removal of the barriers.

“We also want to agree on modalities of stepping down engagement in various communities,” he said.

The State Lead Facilitator, PERL, Mr Adejor Abel, said that the community leaders would play a critical role in advocacy and removal of security, political, socio-cultural and all forms of barriers to girl education in the state.

According to him, the move will further strengthen collaboration between citizens, traditional and religious leaders, towards addressing identified barriers to girl education.

“This is part of PERL’s effort towards bringing together governments and citizens’ groups at both the federal and the state level, to address governance challenges associated with service delivery.

“PERL’s Engaged Citizens Pillar works with a wide range of citizen groups and supports citizens to represent citizens’ voice and bring citizens’ priorities to government in an effective way.”

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