By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A non governmental organisation (NGO), Centre for Girls Education, has advocated for improved budgetary allocation by the Kaduna State Government to its Special School to equip the ICT Centre and Laboratory for Girls with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The state has only One Special Junior Secondary School until recently, it started Senior Secondary School section, but without well equiped Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre and laboratory.
It is against this background, the NGO is advocating for improved budgetary allocation to meet the cost of the equipment to aid this segment of the girls.
Speaking at a Media Roundtable, on Friday in Kaduna, a Rise up Fellow, Barr. Jennifer Agbaji noted that girls with special needs in the state face double invisibility as they have very little access to education due to the poor budgetary allocation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
She explained that in view of the high cost, a budgetary line or a sub- head could be created for equipping the ICT/Laboratory,
STEM education, she emphasized, gives girls with disabilities the skills that would make them More employable to meet the current labour demand.
“Girls with disabilities need to be part of the workforce that STEM course alone can make possible to shrink the gap and reduce inequalities”, she said.
According to Barr. Jennifer Agbaji, women with disabilities have low employment rates, as compared with men with or without disabilities.
STEM education, she added, affords women and girls with disabilities, the opportunity to pursue further education and future employment in these fields that are in high demand.
Some PWDs at the meeting
Earlier, the Lead and Rise Up Fellow, Aisha Bello, who gave a brief on the Centre, said it focused on improving access and quality of school and vocational training for rural and low income urban girls in Northern Nigeria since 2007.
She said the Centre had helped girls across Northern Nigeria stay in school, delay marriage and acquire life skills and livelihoods through educational programs tailored to the needs of each segment of the girls population.
The Kaduna State Special School has a population of about 1,100 students with 40% girls.
Part of the roundtable, was a commitment by the media to join hands with the centre in the advocacy having lauded the Rise Up project funded by the Public Health Institute, Oakland, California, USA.