We Are Denied Access to Technical, Vocational Education Rural Girls in Kaduna Cries Out
By Uangbaoje Alex, Zaria
Girls from rural communities in Zaria, Sabon Gari, Kudan and Giwa Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, have opened up on how their fathers are denying them access to technical and vocational education in the state.
The rural girls who spoke out separately in Zaria, during the “See the Need, Meet the Need” Girls’ Summit organized by Women Connect Initiative with support from Rise Up to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child, said they were constantly being told that technical and vocational education is not met for them.
Narrating her ordeal, Hafsat Abdullahi, from Government Girls Secondary School in Kudan community said she has become discouraged in desiring or taking technical subjects in school because of the way her father constantly reminds her that technical and vocational education is not for her and her other sisters.
“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” she said.
Similarly, Habiba Usman, who is from Dogon Yiche in Sabo Gari LGA, lament the absence of technical school in her area, which she said 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. Even when you bring it up they will tell you is not met for girl. 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” she said.
While responding to the cries of the girls, the representative of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, told the girls the efforts of the Kaduna State Government in rectifying and signing into law the Child Rights and Violence Against Persons Acts.
She stated that the state government is focusing attention on developing policies to promote enrolment of rural girls in technical and vocation education, saying that the practice of depriving girls of technical education will soon be a thing of the past in the state.
“We also want to implement 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.
Similarly, the Executive Chairman of Kudan Local Government Area, Hon. Shuaibu Jaja commended the Kaduna 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 committed to the development of the girl-child. 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.
On her part, the Director of Women Connect Initiative, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika stated that the number of rural girls in TVE centres across Kaduna State is scanty urging the state government to work with Women Connect Initiative to developing a policy to drive female enrolments to technical and vocational schools in rural communities.