Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Some secondary school girls in Zaria, Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna have revealed how they have being discouraged to register technical and vocational subjects in the state.
These girls expressed their feelings during the “See the Need, Meet the Need” girls’ summit organised by a non-governmental organisation known as Women Connect Initiative with support from Rise Up to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child.
One of the girls, Hafsat Abdullahi said, she and others of her friends in their community are constantly being told that technical and vocational education is not for them thereby get discouraged from desiring or taking technical subjects in school.
She said, “there are no female teachers to teach us technical knowledge in our community. Every time, we are reminded by our fathers that we do not belong to the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.”
Another girl, Habiba Usman, lamented that, absence of technical school in Sabon Gari has not given them any option to think about technical education or science and technology related courses.
“Nobody talks about technical education in our place. We are shut down whenever we let our desire known about certain courses. So, we know already the subjects we can say that we want to study in the university” she said.
But in a swift response, the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented by the Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, said, the recently passed Child Rights and Violence Against Persons laws were provided to address such issues.
She added that, the state government was focusing attention on developing policies to promote enrolment of rural girls in technical and vocation education saying, the practice of depriving girls technical education will soon be a thing of the past in the state.
“We also want to implement these laws most especially at the community level. We have been talking for too long. We want to go beyond talking to implementation. We are putting policies and laws in place to protect our female children,” she said.
Chairman of Kudan Local Government Area, Shuaibu Jaja commended the State Government for putting up a free education policy for girls in the state stating that Kudan is one of the local government council that is benefitting from the dividend of democracy brought by the Governor El-Rufai’s government.
“We can say that we have a state governor who is committed to the development of the girls. In Kudan, the TVE centres are working. The only thing is that we have very poor female enrolment across the centres.
“The facilitators of this girls’ summit have equipped the local government chairmen present here with certain truths about technical and vocational education for girls and we need to go back to reflect.
“Our daughters will be the poorest of the poor if we don’t act now to change the status quo”, he said.
Earlier, the Director of Women Connect Initiative, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika said, the number of rural girls in TVE centres across Kaduna State is scanty, urging the state government to work with her organisation to developing a policy to drive female enrolments to technical and vocational schools in rural communities.