Women and Girls Education
A 1MT core program, our women and girls education program is aimed at providing a cost-effective, accessible way of closing gender gaps and addressing poverty; creating avenues that allow more people — especially women and girls — to access fundamental knowledge and skills to contribute meaningfully to economic and social developments, creating a long-term and sustainable impact; reducing barriers to inclusive, safe, quality education for girls, adolescent girls and women through provision of equitable, cost-effective, safe and coordinated provision of innovative, quality, gender-responsive education for girls, adolescent girls and women; Increase the number of female teachers by providing basic education to females for entry into the profession, through on-the-ground, face-to-face professional learning methods (e.g. mentorship) – with female mentor teams assigned regions in order to develop relationships with the female learners, in the process, creating a self-sustaining cycle in which female teachers and female parents inspire and empower girls within and beyond the classroom, and these empowered girls in turn will grow into women who inspire and empower other girls.
Find out more about this program and the work that we are doing with one of the advocates on the United Nations Sustainable Development goals and our advisory board chairman, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II.
“Genius is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not”
Today we had an orientation program for our first batch of female STEM educators from Kano State, Nigeria. It was a great event. We were blown away by the level of enthusiasm demonstrated by these teachers, and are reminded once again that genius is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.
One of the reasons for the 1MT and Queen’s University partnership is to provide opportunities for many who would otherwise not have opportunities to get quality education available to their counterparts from around the world. The current focus of that partnership is to provide access to quality education for women and girls in crisis, conflict, and fragile situations – situations like those in Northern Nigeria.
Through this partnership agreement, Queen’s University is committed to supporting the knowledge infrastructure requirements of 1MT and, in so doing, further its longstanding commitment to equitable learning for all. Together, 1MT and Queen’s University are offering a coordinated and innovative education for multiple stakeholders including teachers, education administrators and leaders, traditional and religious leaders, and parents, to enable access for individuals who face the most barriers – women and girls.
Our approach seeks to remove barriers to inclusive and quality education for women and girls by improving Nigerian teachers’ skill and knowledge and by increasing understanding amongst parents and education leaders about the value of high-quality education for women and girls. We also seek to increase the number of female teachers, who will educate and mentor girls in schools and in the larger community. The project includes advocacy work that will secure buy-in from critical community and education stakeholders, including male family members, to ensure its long-term systemic impact. Ultimately, we aim to create a self-sustaining cycle in which female teachers and female parents inspire and empower girls within and beyond the classroom, and these empowered girls in turn will grow into women who inspire and empower other girls.
Challenges such as poverty and inequality can be traced to poor access to or lack of education in many parts of the country, especially for girls and women, which has led to their low participation rate in socio-political economic activities. Indeed, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, and 60 percent of this number are girls. Girls’ education is a fundamental human right, yet despite several interventions towards increasing girls’ enrollment in primary schools, retention and continued participation beyond a basic education level has not significantly changed.
Our work in Northern Nigeria focuses on enabling female teachers to serve as role models and mentors to girls in school and how this relationship could be cultivated, enhanced and leveraged upon to improve educational outcomes for girls in the region.
One of our first initiatives in this area is a development program for female STEM teachers in public secondary schools in Kano State, Nigeria.
Many thanks to the individuals who worked behind the scenes to make today’s event possible – Dr. Adeola Olubamiji, Dr. Bala Yunusa, Mr. Yussuf Yunusa, Miss Esther Adetayo.
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