Cross section of some participants during the mentoring session at Tunga-Ashere on Thursday in Abuja.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goal agenda of leaving no one behind, the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) during the week, took itâ€™s mentoring programme on â€œThe role of ICT in Improving Access to Girl Child Education in FCT Rural Communitiesâ€ to two communities in Abuja, Nigeriaâ€™s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The mentoring session organised for key stakeholders in Tunga-Ashere in Jiwa Chiefdom, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Leleyi Gwari in Kwali Area Council of the FCT and other relevant government ministries, is part of the efforts of the non governmental organisation in ensuring that the Girl-Child have access to quality education.
Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education at the event, Dr. Efi Anam delivering a goodwill message
CITADÂ is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that is committed to the use of information and communication technologies for development and promotion of good governance.
The coordinator of the event, Salma Abdulwaheed addressing participants
Smartgist24 reports the event which held on Tuesday and Thursday, aimed at acquainting stakeholders on the importance of Information Communication Technology in the education of the girl child.
A member of the community at Tunga-Ashere interpreting some of the messages delivered to participants in their local dialect
The programme was attended by young girls, their parents and other members of the communities.
Participants also included representatives from the ministries of information and education in Nigeria, AMAC, the head master and other teaching staff of LEA Primary School in the beneficiary communities.
Speaking in Thursday with journalists after the event at LEA Primary School in Tunga-Ashere, CITADâ€™s Sponsorship Officer,Â Mubarak Ekute said the training was put together to interact with stakeholders and sensitize them on how to leverage on ICT to improve learning and empowerment of the girl-child.
Mrs Opeyemi Oliha of the Ministry of CommunicationÂ in a presentationÂ on the Importance of ICT to Girl-Child Education
â€œThe world has becomeÂ a globalÂ villageÂ throughÂ ICT, so the idea behind this programme is to interactÂ withÂ and hold a mentoring session with stakeholders that are concernedÂ with educationÂ to enable them empower the girl child through ICT so that theyÂ can be usefulÂ to themselves and theÂ society and achieveÂ education,â€ Ekute said.
On the relevanceÂ of ICT to the beneficiaries,Â he saidÂ with ICT,Â the girl-child can leverage on so many opportunities. For instance, in terms of the classroom, she canÂ use it enhanceÂ her learning,Â use ICT to acquire knowledge and information to carryout her assignments. â€œThe teachers can also use it to improveÂ educational systemÂ generally,â€ he added.
Ekute further explained that girls who are not priviledged to be in school could also, carve a niche for themselves with ICT skills acquired.
Some participants in a group photo with the organizers of the event
He saidÂ CITAD had mapped out programmes to sensitize the girl child on her rights and encourageÂ themÂ to speak for themselves.
â€œWe also sensitize their parents to allow their girls access to education. We haveÂ been embarking on advocacyÂ in communitiesÂ to make this possible,â€ Ekute said.
A structure presently used as a classroom for the KEA Primary School in Tunga-Ashere
Earlier in a welcome address, the programme coordinator, Salma Abdulwaheed said in line with the Sustainable Development Goal agenda which emphasized that no one should be left behind, CITAD considered it a priority to take digital skills acquisition programmes to some remote communities in the FCT to empower beneficiaries.
A two rooms building previously an Islamiyya centre for women, now used as a classroom for the LEA Primary School in Tunga-Ashere
According to her, CITAD has trained over 100 youths in the beneficiary communities on digital skills in the last two years.
She said the organisation has established ICT centres in communities in five area councilâ€™s of the FCT, one of which is located in Tunga-Ashere.
Work on this block of 3 classrooms mearnt to accommodate pupils of the LEA Primary School at Tunga-Ashere and being constructed by AMAC is said to be at a very slow pace. Community leader is demanding for more classrooms that can accommodate the 150 pupils of the school.
â€œIt is better to catch them young, so it is important to teach the youths and elders digital skillsâ€ to be at par with their counterparts in the city, she said, adding, women and girls have also benefited from the trainings.
The ICT Centre deployed by CITAD in Tunga-Ashere with support from Actionaid Nigeria
The Special Adviser to the Chairman of AMAC on ICT/Donor Agencies and Civil Societies, Abiodun Essiet who made a cash donations of N50,000 for development of the school in the community, commended CITAD and Actionaid Nigeria for granting beneficiaries in the communities access to ICT.
Inside the ICT Centre deployed by CITAD in Tunga-Ashere with support from Actionaid Nigeria(Some of the computers in the centre).
While also appreciating the communities for allowing their girls to be part of the trainings, she urged that them to utilize the skills acquired in a meaningful way to better their lives.
A representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education at the event, Dr. Efi Anam said the ministry is happy that women and girls child in the rural communities are being carried along in a world where women are now occupying important positions.She stressed the importance of empowering the girl child with education to face the many responsibilities she is saddled with in the society. â€œWe are also interested in making progress in our small communities. We can only achieve this by making sure everybody, including girls, go to school. The women need to be empowered, trained to have skills to enable them assist their homes and be useful in the society,â€ said Dr Anam.
While also assuring CITAD of the support of the ministry, she said: â€œWe are impressed by this effort and will support CITAD and other efforts that seek to develop and empower Tunga-Ashere.â€
In her presentation on the Importance of ICT to Girl-Child Education, Mrs Opeyemi Oliha of the Ministry of Communication, noted that with the knowledge of ICT, beneficiaries can acquire knowledge and skills without formal education, through the use of internet.
â€œOur women and girls can be employed through ICT, they can sell their farm produce by utilizing ICT and acquire any kind of information that will be useful for their farming business,â€ she said.
Also speaking, the LEA Tunga-Ashere Head Master, Martins Zanyi commended CITAD for assisting the communities to improve their access to education.He ceased the opportunity to appeal to government to construct more classrooms for pupils in the community and provide more furnitures to aid better learning.
The village Chief, Sani Yakubu, who said he is one of the beneficiary of the ICT training programmes, also thanked Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD for improving the lives of members of his community.Yakubu thanked the AMAC authourities for establishing the school in the community two years ago to address the problem of lack of access to education.
He however, appealed for expansion of the school to accommodate the teeming population of pupils. The village head identified lack of hospital facility and electricity as some of the urgent need of the community.
On her part, the Women Leader, Asabe Yakubu also thanked the two organisations for the initiative.
She lamented that they were at the level they were today because they had no such previlege, assured that with the sensitization and Kno enlightenment, women in her community were willing to encourage and allow their Girl-Child access opportunities to learn and become better in the society.