UBEC TO INTRODUCE CLUSTER LEARNING CENTERS FOR THE GIRL-CHILD
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), as part of its commitment to addressing and paving way for improved and inclusive basic education delivery across the country, will soon set up Cluster Learning Centers for the Girl Child (CCLCGs). UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi made this disclosure at a roundtable convened for the development of a framework for the proposed CCLCG intervention.
The roundtable which is coming on the heels of renewed calls for strategic focus on the education of the girl-child, said to account for 60% of all out-of-school children in Nigeria, is part of UBEC’s drive towards ensuring increased access and quality of basic education for the girl-child especially in the Northern States. At the opening session of the roundtable, participants noted that the challenge of out-of-school children is a recurring decimal with the girl-child bearing the larger brunt of this challenge thus the compelling need to institute remedial interventions for the girl-child as part of UBEC’s efforts at addressing the out-of school menace. Participants emphasized that government and its allies as well as basic education stakeholders should take concrete steps towards addressing the issues which hinder girls and other vulnerable groups from accessing quality basic education. They commended UBEC for the proposed CCLCG initiative and urged States to scale up strategies and approaches that focus on the acquisition of literacy, numeracy and importantly the acquisition of relevant skills.
UBEC Director of Special Programmes, Alhaji Hassan D. Umar in his welcome remarks observed that the roundtable was being convened as part of measures geared towards addressing the menace of out-of-school girls which contribute to the poverty, hunger and disease in our communities. While declaring the 2-day exercise open, UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, represented by UBEC Director, Teacher Development, Mallam Unwaha Ismaila, emphasized the importance of developing a framework as an additional incentive towards tackling challenges associated with the out-of-school challenge. He pledged Federal Government readiness to continue to implement programmes that will increase access and ensure equity, especially for the girl child. He urged States to take ownership of existing UBE facilities set up by UBEC so that their girl children are not denied access to quality Basic Education. He expressed optimism that the various scholars and resource persons invited to the roundtable will develop a workable document that can be readily implemented at all levels towards improving girls` education in Nigeria.
Resource persons at the roundtable acknowledged the 2-day session as an outstanding milestone that will provide a blue-print for the creation of further educational opportunities for the girl-child. They maintained that the CCLCG when effective, the initiative will further impact on nation building through the ingenuity of well groomed and educated female folk, potential mothers and future home-makers. It is a known fact that UBEC, other related agencies and other critical education stakeholders are at the forefront of advocating for and implementing reforms that will address perceived challenges, broaden available opportunities and make way for inclusive mechanisms for educating the girl-child and other vulnerable groups in the country.
Notable female scholars led by Prof. Binta Abdul of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) involved in gender advocacy including Human Development Foundation of Nigeria (HDFN) Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWAN), UBEC Management Staff, representatives of the traditional institution and a section of the press are among the participants at the event holding at Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Conference Centre, Mogadishu Layout, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
The roundtable is expected to among others, articulate the concept of Cluster Community Learning Centers for Girls (CCLCGs) in the Nigeria context, come up with a framework and modalities for operationalizing such especially in areas where the challenge of out-of-school children are very endemic as well as make recommendations that would guarantee success of the proposed initiative in Nigeria.