Traditional and Religious leaders in Kaduna State on Thursday pledged support for call for the state to develop policy document for implementation of its free education for the girl-child.
They made the pledge at a meeting organised by Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) in Kaduna, as part of the NGO’s effort to mobilize relevant stakeholders to join advocacy for the formulation of the document.
They noted that despite the declaration of free education by the state government in 2018, parents were still made to pay certain charges for their girl-child which undermined the free education pronouncement.
One of them, the Imam of Bashir Central Mosque, Unguwan Rimi, Kaduna, Malam Musa Tanimu, said his daughter was recently prevented from writing examination for failure to pay N20 answer sheet fee.
“I was surprised because the government had declared free education for girls in public schools, if so, then why are we still being charged?
“There is, therefore, the need for policy document and implementation framework that will clearly specify what charges should be paid and so on,” Tanimu said.
Also speaking, the District Head of Doka, Kaduna, Alhaji Bala Tijjani, said the policy document was a necessity in ensuring smooth implementation of free education for the girl-child.
He pledged traditional leader’s 100 per cent support to AMDF in ensuring that a policy was put in place to promote girl-child education.
According to him, the girls will not learn much if schools infrastructure are not improved and teachers motivated.
The Deputy Director, Girl -Child Education in the state’s Ministry of Education, Mrs Elizabeth David, explained that schools were allowed to collect certain charges, but must get approval from the ministry.
David advised parents to always visit the Zonal Education offices for enquiry and complaints, for the ministry to take necessary action.
She said the state government had declared free education for girls as part of effort to promote girl-child education in the state, noting, however, that there were still little charges that were yet to be clarified.
She said the advocacy by AMDF for the development of the policy document would clarify what specifically the free education entailed and how free it was.
“This is why the ministry of education has agreed to work with AMDF in ensuring that the document is developed.
“And as religious and traditional leaders, your voice and inputs will be required to improve the quality and practicability of the policy document,” she said.
Earlier, AMDF Executive Director, Mr Iliya Kure, explained that the advocacy for the policy document and implementation framework was necessary to make the free education pronouncement a reality.