By Onimisi Alao, Yola
Community leaders, teachers, government officials and officials of a pro-education nongovernmental organisation have met in Numan, headquarters of Numan local government area of Adamawa State to deliberate on ways to get more girls enrolled in schools.
The participants deliberated on the matter at the town hall meeting organised by African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), which is running a girl child education promotion programme in the state with support from Malala Fund.
The meeting articulated that girls are most affected by non-enrollment or disruption of school enrolment due to poverty, preference for boy child rather than girl child education, unplanned pregnancy and other factors.
It suggested that more sensitisation was needed to enhance commitment to girl child education.
The Sarkin Numa, Godwin Philemon, who represented the Numan paramount ruler at the town hall meeting, suggested to community leaders to do a door-to-door campaign to make all out-of-school girls go to school.
Secretary of the Numan local government, Foredan Nagapiya recommended a committee of influencers, which should include the wife of the paramount ruler, to preach to parents on need to have their daughters in school.
The Centre LSD, in the course of executing its Community-led Collective Action for Girl Education project in Adamawa State over the past two years, has created a number of craft development facilities called Safe Centres where girls who drop out of school for some reason could still develop themselves and learn skills.
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Yoila Jael, a student of the Safe Centre in Imburu, Numan, who has learnt to make liquid soap, thanked the Centre LSD for creating such centres for girls like her.
Narrating her experience, Yoila said: “I dropped out of school because I got pregnant. After my delivery, I wanted to return to school but my parents said I couldn’t because I had a child. I thank God for Malala Fund for the Safe Centre where I have not only learnt empowerment skills but from where I have gone back to school.”
Welcoming participants to the meeting, Executive Director of Centre LSD, Monday Osasah, said his organisation had facilitated the return to school of 960 girls in the focal local government areas of Numan, Song and Maiha.
He said 320 of these are in Numan and that the town hall meeting was called chiefly to discuss how more of the remaining out-of-school girls in Numan could be made to go back to school.
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