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FG expands on gender inclusion through GRESP

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By Mercy Kelani

Research into gender-responsive ed. plans in 6 states was initiated in 2021.

A recent report on Gender Review and Advocacy for Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning (GRESP) in Nigeria has been launched by the dRPC Research and Projects Centre in collaboration with Malala Fund. On February 27, 2024, a report was published that analysed gender inclusion in Nigeria’s State Education Sector Plans (SESPs) over a span of 11 years. In Nigeria, SESPs is the sole education policy that integrates objectives for girls’ education into the education system and sets specific benchmarks for government results in basic education.

Researchers at dRPC conducted a review to assess the effectiveness of the Global Partnership for Education’s theory of change in promoting gender equality in girls’ education outcomes. The research into gender-responsive education plans in six Nigerian states was initiated in 2021, according to Judith-Ann Walker, the Executive Director of dRPC, who mentioned this in her introductory statement. Ms. Ann-Walker expressed enthusiasm for the project, stating that they are optimistic about the potential usefulness of the report for both Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and government officials.

President Tinubu is dedicated to promoting gender equality.

Also, the Malala Fund shared their enthusiasm for the release and recognized the important contribution of dRPC in the research. Femi Aderibigbe, who works as the advocacy manager for Malala Fund, expressed the organization’s focus on promoting policies and providing resources to overcome obstacles hindering girls’ access to education. Fatima Faruk, the Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Women Affairs, expressed her joy at the report’s acknowledgment of the crucial importance of dismantling gender obstacles and ensuring equal opportunities for every child, irrespective of gender.

Ms. Faruk stated that gender inequality within the Nigerian education system has been preventing young women from reaching their full potential for many years. In her statement, Faruk emphasized President Tinubu’s dedication to promoting gender equality, as well as her office’s efforts to support the advancement of women and girls in various industries. The purpose of the study was to assess how effective the Global Partnership for Education’s gender responsiveness theory of change is in explaining the outcomes of girls’ education.

The analysis indicated strong and reliable correlations.

Utilizing a combination of research methods, the gender assessment initially examined the trends in educational outcomes for two girls. This analysis aimed to identify patterns before and during the implementation of education sector plans in Nigeria from 2012 to 2023. The gender review looked at six states – Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara. It was discovered that in states like Jigawa, where girls had higher secondary school completion rates during the planning years, child marriage rates were lower.

Furthermore, the gender review’s second phase delved into the connections between the progress of girls’ education outcomes identified in the initial analysis and the bureaucratic systems and operations outlined in the GPE model for gender-inclusive education. The analysis indicated strong and reliable correlations, affirming the effectiveness of the GPE model for gender-responsive education planning. Ms. Faruk emphasized the importance of her office in addressing crucial issues like ensuring social inclusion and political empowerment for women, promoting economic empowerment, combating domestic violence and abuse, assisting marginalized women in Nigeria, and advocating for educational equality. These areas were the main focus of the program.

Related Article: Gender Equality should be Checked in Nigeria

In place of the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy, an official from the ministry expressed appreciation for the researchers who released a report on gender issues in education at just the right moment. One of Mr. Shofokeye’s observations was the rising population of children not attending school in the south-eastern region, particularly in Anambra State. He attributed this trend to cultural, religious, and social customs as well as informal rules that encourage segregation within educational institutions. He noticed that current policies and laws aimed at promoting gender equality, inclusion, and safety in schools were not being effectively implemented.

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