Promoting Safety and Security for the Girl-Child Education in North Eastern Nigeria Project (PSSGE)
Centre For Information Technology and Development (CITAD), ADOPT-A-CAMP
Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) is one of those groups in a national movement leading a coordinated effort by concerned women, youth and professionals across Nigeria advocating for the quick rescue and return of the nearly 300 young girls abducted by insurgents in a girls secondary school in Chibok, in Borno state north-east Nigeria. Under the national rubric, bring Back Our Girls.
WRAPA’s participation is premised on its mandate of the actualization of rights of women through sustained dialogue with formal and informal policy institutions, partnerships with communities and government agencies as well as international development actors. Furthermore and since 2009 WRAPA activities aimed at promoting women’s rights have been hampered by the spate of insurgency attacks on schools, abduction and rape of girls. Progress made in creating demand and enticing girls to seek education to enhance their life choices and chances are undermined by the lack of safety and security leading to massive causalities, loss of life and confidence among citizens.
The terrorizing of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, a 6year long continuous catastrophe causes a growing number of internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria. The sect have executed their evil deeds in several ways including attacks on communities, taking territories, bomb blasts (which including using young girls as suicide bombers) and series of abductions, including the abduction of nearly 300 secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
The abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls has caused far-reaching effects than envisaged, among which – and most disturbing, is its contribution to the increase in the number of out of schoolgirls in Northern Nigeria, especially the North East. Prior to the abduction of the Chibok girls, as at 2013, the percentage of out of school children has increased exponentially with the UNESCO reporting that one out of every five Nigerian children is out of school with approximately 10.5 million kids out of school, making Nigeria dominate twelve other countries with which it accounts for 47% of the global out of school population.
Insurgency in Nigeria has birthed several other challenges competing for attention, while also forcing the nation to continue to record a high number in out of school children, as well as high mortality rate, increased death rate, early marriage, child trafficking and slavery, among others. However of the several factors contributing to the drop in number of out of school children in Nigeria, topmost is the current spate of insurgency in the country, Conflict and violence in northern Nigeria has destroyed 28% of school while forcing many other to close, and in some cases, teachers and children have been attacked. For instance in Borno, it is estimated that 15, 000 children have stopped attending school as a result of violence.
Population growth is a huge contributing factor to the plight of the girl-child in Nigeria with respect to education. The exponential growth in population in Nigeria has put immense pressure on the available and already overwhelming. An estimated 40% of Nigeria children aged 6- 11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent year, it is estimate that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school.
The upsurge in the rate of internal displacement in the country, most of who are children, girls, and women has further threatened efforts to ensure high number in in-school girls, especially in the North East. A recent survey by NOI Polls, a leading polling company in Nigeria, shows that terrorist attacks accounts for 75% of internal Displaced Person (IDP’s) in Nigeria, while other cause include, but not limited to, flood (18%), communal/ethnic conflicts (17%), and religious conflicts (11%). With the high rate of internal displacement comes a corresponding high rate of out of school children, especially girls, most of who reside in IDP camps across the nation and as Refugees in neighboring countries like Chad, Niger and Cameroun.
According to the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani- Sidi, there are 981, 416 IDPS in the country with 107, 997 living in government-established IDPs camp, while 804, 732 live with the host communities and relations of these IDPs are several girls who are out of school and having to support their parents for survival with little or no interest in returning to school especially for the fear of being abducted, attacked, or maimed. The parent/guardian, particularly have a sense of protection for the children, and consistently discourage any academic pursuit.
Aim & Objectives
The project major aim would be channeled towards raising the consciousness of out of school girls, communities, especially parents in IDP Camps, on the importance of education, and the need to keep their dreams alive despite the current spate of insurgency in the country. The following are the specific objectives of the intervention:
- To raise the bar for calls on government to prioritize safety and security as catalyst for re-building confidence in uptake of girl child education against the odds insurgency.
- Identify and rank the needs and priorities of girls and their parents in order to gauge desire for uptake of girl child education.
- Re-enforce value and motivation for girl child education using innovation branding, IEC tools and social media to encourage expression and input on safety and security for girls in schools.
- Engage and de-construct fears for safety and security of female children and wards in schools.
- Facilitation documentation and follow through to measure project impact and sustainability.
- Safety and Security consciousness for girls in schools.
- Increase knowledge on safety and security in schools.
- Wide based reach to target population eliciting confidence and commitment for uptake of girl child education.
- Benefits of girl child entrenched in community and family dialogue.
- IDP situation where thousands of girls are out of school with little priority for their continued education and
- Benefits of girls, families and social structures demanding for safe school.
This cluster of activities aimed at renewed consciousness through sensitization on safety of girls in school within the context of general insecurity, the Chibok girls and other abductions of girls and women, and the use of girls as suicide bombers. The following activities have been conceptualized to enable an achievement of the overall aim:
- Consolidate project collaboration partnership to articulate and commit partner roles and responsibility.
- Coordination with Government Agencies
- Dialogue and consultations to raise the bar for calls on government to prioritize safety and security as catalyst for re-building confidence in uptake of girl child education.
- Engagement of Representatives of Abducted girls and other IDPs to identify and rank the need and priorities of girls and their parents in other to gauge desire for uptake of girl child education.
- Campaign Mobilization and Sensitization to re-enforce value and motivation for girl child education.
- Commemorative and Milestone day activities, engage and de- construct fears for safety and security of female children in schools.
- Monitoring and evaluation these will be achieved by facilitating documentation and follow through to measure project impact and sustainability.