COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A 3 DAY’S CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON GENDER RESPONSIVE EDUCATIONAL PLANNING HELD AT THE TRANQUILA HOTEL, MABUSHI ABUJA FROM 22ND TO 24TH JUNE, 2023.
The FAWE lead consortium comprising of Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWE) Plan International and Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CACEFA). The consortium conducted three day’s National workshop on the theme Mobilizing Civil Society for a Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning – Agenda Setting. Gender-Responsive Education Sector Planning(GRESP) is a whole-system approach to advancing gender equality in and through education, including learning and learning environments, teacher education and practice, curriculum and materials development and leadership and administration. The three day’s workshop brought together thirty (30) education advocates from Katsina, Kaduna, Cross-Rivers states and Abuja Federal Capital territory.
The workshop was aimed at building National Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning experts that will utilize their skills and potentials in supporting states and federal level education sector budgetary processes. Participants were trained on Gender and Budget development processes in the Education sector, how to conduct situation analysis to arrive at issues, Budget Monitoring tools; Community Score Card and Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS), participants and development of Advocacy and influencing messages.
In the course of the training and deliberations, participants at the workshop noted the following:
- Inadequate Basic and Secondary Education Budget: Participants discussed extensively on the budget allocation to education especially the Basic education and the neglect of that of Secondary schools. A further x-ray of the budget reveled that education budget is reducing by size and sensitivity to gender and inclusion in each passing year.
- Inefficient Utilization of Education Budget: Notwithstanding the inadequacy of education budget, participants observed with dismay that available budget are not efficiently utilized for education especially Basic Education Purposes at the states and even federal level.
- Non Gender Responsive Gender Education Sector Plan: A critical look into the education plans of some States indicates that the sector plans particularly sections on provision of infrastructure and teachers development and some other notable items do not consider gender and inclusion.
- Out of School Children. Another concern observed by participants is the increasing number of school children in Nigeria especially in Nigeria as a whole with the figures reaching to 20 million ( Unesco report). This is unacceptable and something strategic need to be done. . Participants agreed that despite the rebuttal by the federal government on the number of out of school children in Nigeria, the fact remains that school aged children between 6 years to 18 years are not enrolling and completing Basic and \Secondary Education in Nigeria with girls mostly affected.
- Amplified voices of the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable: Participants observed that though several platforms exist to help promote and increase the voices of the targeted margainalized groups towards achieving 12 years continued learning for women and children especially girls, and teachers, these communities of marginalized and vulnerable have not deliberately mobilized to use the available platforms to amplify their voices.
- Low foot print of civil society at the state level to engage with government and demand for quality, inclusive and safe education: Participants observed with dismay the disappearing voices and activities of CSOs and Citizens in holding government to account at the states levels. This the participants observed as poor human and material resource capacity of CSOs and citizens to effectively engage policy makers.
- Target beneficiaries like the teachers, students and pupils have not been deliberately mobilized to amplify their voices.
- 2. Education sector plans in some states are not implemented according to the plans whilst some proposed actions in the plans are not gender transformative.
- 3. Actual expenditure on education budget are very low compare to the amount committed.
- 4. Low foot print of civil society at the state level to engage with government and demand for quality, inclusive and safe education
Having made the above observations by the workshop participants from the states and Abuja, the following recommendations were arrived at:
- Increase Education financing for Basic and Secondary Education: Education financing is to road map to achieving SDGs 4 education 2023. We demand that government at all levels in the subsequent budget circle of 2024 to increase the Education budget for basic and secondary education to between 15-20% to meet the needs of women and children especially girls.
- Monitor the use of approved and disbursed Basic and Secondary Education Budget. FAWE led Consortium should work with the states government to review their education sector to make it more gender responsive
- Enforce the Universal Basic Education Act to the full: We demand that government to be more strategic and come up with a plan of action to address the menace of out of school children in Nigeria. Especially in accessing the universal basic Education Funds made available for infrastructure development for Basic Education;
- We also call on government at the states level and the federal to make Senior Secondary Education free. This way, the country can effectively ensure lifelong learning for its citizen’s
- Strengthened Capacity of CSOs and Citizens on public policy dialogues and engagement. : We call and challenge citizens especially at the grassroot to continuously build and improved on their capacity to engage. It is also a call to partners, to harness the opportunity and skills inherent in the CSOs through capacity building and mentorship to enable the CSOs and Citizens effective engage with government at all levels.
The participant, appreciated the FAWE led consortium and the Gender at the Center Initiative (GCI) for providing them with the opportunity and considering them to be gender advocates and experts in their states and Nigeria as a whole. Participants also expressed satisfaction on the training received noting that, they are more equipped to advocate and scrutinize issues around Education plans and budgets, and commits to engage with relevant stakeholders in promoting a Gender Responsive Education Sector Plans (GRESP). Participants commits to support in cascading the training to other citizens and stakeholders at their various states and the FCT.
The under listed organizations participated in the three day’s work shop and has endorsed this communique as a working document.
|2||Forum for African Women Educationalist|
|3||Plan International Nigeria|
|5||I Have Conscience Foundation|
|6||Building Blocks for Peace Foundation|
|7||Reachout Initiative for Vulnerable Africa Women|
|8||Children Impacts and Development Initiative|
|9||Daughters of Abraham Foundation|
|10||Humanitarian and Empowerment for Grassroots Initiatives|
|11||Mariam Ladi Yunusa Foundation (MLYF)|
|12||Teens and Nubile Club (TEENUB)|
|13||Fountain of Grace, Empowerment, Education and Development Foundation|
|14||Almajiri Child Rights Initiative|
|15||Odyssey Educational Foundation|
|16||Kairos Leadership and Educational Foundation (KLEF)|
|17||Skills Outside School Foundation|
|18||Ogedegede Community Development Foundation|
|19||Charles Okundili Strategy for Humanitarian Initiative (COSHI Foundation)|
|20||Aspire African Youth Empowerment Initiative|
|21||PIT TO PEAK FOUNDATION|
|22||Adda Girl Education Foundation|
|23||Fill and Feed a Soul Foundation|