Girl Advocate for Safe Schools (GASS)
Girls go to school for their futures not to end them!
Nigeria particularly the northwest and east continues to experience civil unrest including criminal activities such as kidnap for ransom and banditry. In 2021, there were 25 attacks on schools. 1,440 children were abducted, and 16 children killed. Specifically, hundreds of Kaduna State residents have been kidnapped or killed, while millions of Naira has been paid as ransoms, even as bandits have discovered schools as a more lucrative avenue to demand huge ransoms.
Meanwhile, Nigeria endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) in May 2015, which outlines recommendations to better prevent attacks on education, protect schools from military use and respond to and mitigate the impact of attacks on schools. In 2019, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-free Schools to guide the implementation of the SSD nationwide.
The National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools in Nigeria provides guidance and sets a standard for implementing comprehensive school safety plans; prevention and response mechanisms at the national, state, local government and school levels.
The Girl Advocates for Safe School (GASS) project is implemented in Kaduna State by Stand With a Girl Initiative (SWAG) with support rom Riseuptogether. SWAG Initiative will mobilize and train 20 girls called Safe School Advocates between ages 10-24 to advocate to the Commissioner for Education to implement the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools in Kaduna State by December 2023. This safe school advocates capacity will be built in order to serve as advocates promoting safe space schooling environment in Kaduna state.
Benefits of Safe Schools for Girls
● Increase enrolment and retention of girls in school
● Reduces threats of domestic violence
● Girls are more likely to escape early pregnancy and marriage
● Provides girls with the opportunities to fulfill their highest potential and become self-reliant.
To ensure implementation of the National Policy on Safety, Security And Violence-Free Schools (with its Implementing Guidelines) in Kaduna State by December 2023 through girl-led advocacy and media engagement.
● To mobilize 20 girls (age 10-24 years) to advocate for quality and safe girls’ education by December 2023.
● To increase the involvement of at least 10 media outlets (old and new) to promote quality and safe girls’ education by October 2023.
● To increase political commitment of Kaduna State Ministry of Education towards implementation of the National Policy On Safety, Security And Violence-Free Schools by December 2023.
● 20 girls with increased knowledge on safe school declaration, SMART Advocacy, voice and Accountability, leadership, girl’s education and safety etc
● 5 girl-led advocacy dialogues conducted in 5 communities and 5 schools, community and school leaders and teachers publicly support girl’s safety in school.
● 10 tradition and social media personnel oriented on the safe schools Declaration and safety, security and Violence-free schools’ policy.
● Safe School Declaration fact sheets and policy briefs in English and Hausa languages produced.
● The Commissioner for Education publicly supports safety, security and Violence -free schools’ policy.
● Kaduna State domesticates and implements the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools in Kaduna State.p