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Project trains 300 officials to curb gender-based violence in Kaduna State schools



The World Bank-supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project in Kaduna State has trained 300 school officials to curb gender-based violence in secondary schools.

Hajiya Zainab Maina-Lukat, the project’s Technical Assistant on System Strengthening, stated this in Kaduna on Thursday during the training on school-related, gender-based violence safeguarding, and signing of a Code of Conduct.

Maina-Lukat explained that the move was to make the school environment safe and secure for teachers to teach and learners to learn in line with the deliverables of the AGILE project.

She said many students had experienced one form of violence or the other while in school, noting that girls were mostly affected.

She said the training was to enlighten participants on what gender-based violence is and what needed to be done so that girls would feel safe against physical, emotional, and sexual violence in school.

She added that the project had developed a Code of Conduct brochure for everyone working in the school environment to sign.

Maina-Lukat explained that those working in the school environment were expected to commit to the 15 principles in the Code of Conduct brochure, sign and promise to adhere to them.

“There are about 30,000 people that work within the school environment including contractors and their labourers who must know about the effects of gender-based violence and sign the Code of Conduct brochure.

“We hope participants at the training will percolate what they have learnt to all the 30,000 individuals that work within the school environment so that we will all be on the same page.

“School-related gender-based violence happens every day and we must learn to speak out,” she said.

Differentiating between sex and gender, one of the facilitators, Ms Eseoghene Adams, Assistant Team Lead, Research Hub Africa, described sex as the “physical or biological differences” between man and woman.

Adams said on the other hand, gender refers to economic opportunities and social, political, and cultural roles associated with being a man or a woman.

She argued that sex should not determine social roles, adding that no one should be deprived of fundamental rights on account of sex or gender.

She explained that gender-based violence included a range of abusive behaviours such as emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, and economic abuse and control.

“Gender-based violence can have long-term physical, psychological and emotional impacts on survivors and can affect their wellbeing and relationship for years.

“It is a public health issue that affects individuals and communities and as such, requires a collective response to prevent and address effectively,’’ she said.

In her remarks, AGILE Officer, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed said the 300 trainees comprised of guidance and counselling officers, Grievance Redress Mechanism officers and principals of secondary schools.

Mohammed explained that the guidance and counselling officers were serving as focal persons in schools participating in the AGILE project.

Our correspondent reports that the AGILE project is the initiative of the Nigerian Government with funding support from the World Bank.

It aims to ensure adolescent girls’ access to quality secondary school education through enhanced learning, digital literacy and life skills which empower and assure of better life chances and experiences.

Philip Daniel Yatai

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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