Girl Child Education: Bauchi Introduces Girls-Only Schools

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Parents Marrying Off Girls After JSS 3
The Bauchi State Government has announced the introduction of girls-only schools at the senior secondary level across the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Aliyu Tilde, said the introduction of girls-only schools was meant to promote girl child education in the state.
During a visit to the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Suleman-Adamu, Mr. Tilde said parents are marrying off their daughters after the junior secondary school level because they were not comfortable with the mixed-sex cohabitation in classes at the senior secondary level.
Thus, as a measure to encourage more girls to stay in school, the state’s Ministry of Education on Thursday in a new circular tagged ‘Safe-Space for Girls in Secondary Schools’ said the state executive council has approved the new policy to start from 25 September.
According to the circular, in compounds with multiple secondary schools, at least of the schools, preferably the school at the centre, should be allocated to girls only.
“Where there is only a school but it operates in the morning only and there are sufficient teachers, the girls should come in the morning and the boys in the afternoon and where the shift is not possible if the school is large enough, it can then be separated into boys’ and girls’ section.
“When sectioning is not possible but there are streams of A and B on the same arm (like SS1A and SS1B), the boys can be allocated one class and the girls in the other,” the ministry stated.
It added that where the population is low and there is only a class in each stream, the boys will be on one side of the class and the girls on the other side.
According to the new policy, where boarding schools exist, they will also accommodate the day schools of their gender while students of the other gender retain the former site.
Also, during examinations, boys and girls sharing the same site will register in the nearest school of their gender. The capacity of the schools and distance must always be taken into consideration in such cases.
However, the government said the single-gender policy is only applicable only where there are enough facilities to allow for the separation of girls from boys.
It stated that private schools should adopt the new policy as it suits their conditions. It, however, added that the government will encourage and facilitate private schools to establish girls-only schools.
Meanwhile, the official said arrangements are underway for the implementation of the policy at the Junior Secondary Schools level wherever possible.
“For a start, whenever there are more than two Junior Secondary schools in the same vicinity, at least one will become girls only.
This arrangement will be concluded by State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the respective local education authorities,” the ministry explained.
It implored the cooperation of parents, school managers and teachers for the success of the policy.
“However, the success of the policy will largely depend on the attitude of parents, teachers and school managers handling the students,” it stated.
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