As its contribution support efforts being made by the government and other institutions, Ja Muje, a citizen-led initiative of NorthernlifeNG, is set to create a synergy between these institutions to create long term road maps that contribute meaningfully towards achieving sustainable development in communities of northern Nigeria.
In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the Project Coordinator, Farida Yahya, she said, “Ja Muje has identified education as a principal issue and this formed the basis of its kick-off. The platform seeks to provide solution-driven initiatives aimed at ameliorating the pitiable state of education in the region, in the same vein presenting the many benefits educating the teeming population will have on the economy of the region.”
The First Edition of Ja Muje Round Table, a stakeholders forum on education in the region, held recently in Kano and the event officially marked the kick-off of the initiative. In attendance were representatives of the states in the northern region with affiliation to educational institutions and other educational support organizations.
Revelations by the state representatives made clear the challenges working against formal education in the region, some of the most persistent issues being insecurity, religious and cultural misconceptions about western education and the unwillingness of parents, guardians and other holders of constituted authority to embrace the proposed benefits a good formal education presents.
‘’Other concerns raised were the fear of sexual abuse, especially against female students, this being the major reason a large number of parents chose not to send their girls to school.
There was a general agreement that the almajiri system was contributing to the stagnation of capacity in the north as hundreds of thousands of young boys and girls are redundant, without the life skills required to better themselves and the lot of their communities.”
Other issues identified included lack of motivation for teachers, unpaid salaries and the denial of benefits. With each representative proffering a solution to these peculiar problems, the common goal was to find ways to sustain these solutions while engaging communities in the process.
In conclusion, the first edition of Ja Muje RoundTable was revealing in many ways. For most state representatives, it was a hardly found opportunity to interact with their colleagues in the education system from other parts of the country. These participants made a commitment to integrate the collective solutions shared at the event and synergize them with the help of Ja Muje for the growth of education in the region and overall development.
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