Oyo State

Target Population:

10,000 girls from 30 schools
from 3 Senatorial District of
Oyo State

An integrated school-to-community intervention aimed at increasing girls’ attendance and retention rates through grassroots organizing, resource mobilisation and policy advocacy while improving learning quality using technology-supported teacher professional development and digital learning access.

The Issue

Despite several national and international legal instruments such as the Strategy for the Acceleration of Girls Education Programme (2003), the Child Rights Act (2003) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), millions of Nigerian girls still face numerous challenges which prevents them from accessing quality educational opportunities. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the population of out-of-school girls in Nigeria is estimated to be at an all-time high of about 5.5million girls.

Research points to several known reasons such as poverty, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, sexual violence or female genital mutilation as the causes of this injustice but more times than often, there is overwhelming evidence that there are either cultural, societal or traditional preferences for boys to be sent to school, or better supported in learning by their families or within their communities. These realities has has led to the relative disparities between girls: boys ratio in terms of enrolment, retention and transition.

The non-existent and poor implementation of gender-transformative policies within state and national education systems has failed to adequately address these systemic issues that continue to limit the progression of adolescent girls’ education.

The Solution: An Education Champion’s approach

Further progress ensuring equitable access and countering gender disparity in education is crucial and in a bid to the elimination of gender inequality through equitable educational provision for boys and girls, Gideon is leading AREAi’s Getting Girls Equal to to strengthen education quality for girls through the development of, and advocacy for the implementation of gender-responsive educational structures and policies across the school, community and state levels. In its inaugural year of implementation (2022/2023), Getting Girls Equal will focus on complementing governmental efforts in Oyo State (South West Nigeria) to ensure girls exercise their right to learn continuously without any form of barrier.

With financial support across three years as a Malala Fund Education Champion, Gideon will lead his team to implement Getting Girls Equal – a comprehensive programmatic intervention that drive policy commitments to increased allocation and effective mobilization of resources for improved school infrastructural support, track the attendance of female students and teachers as well as students’ performance and strengthen the implementation and evaluation of gender transformative education policies in Oyo state.

Key Objectives of Getting Girls Equal

  1. To enhance learning quality at school levels by providing tailored training to teachers and school-based management committees in curriculum delivery, gender responsiveness, in the use of data for
    decision making.
  2. To strengthen engagement with the government for renewed commitments to policies that encourage increased enrollment, access and retention for girls, including implementing and evaluating gender-transformative education policies at the state level.
  3. To leverage multi-level stakeholders’ engagement for increased mobilization of resources to improve the physical infrastructure of schools to ensure increased girls enrolment, retention and
    transition rates.
  4. To leverage technology in tracking the attendance of female students and teachers towards increasing students’ performance to improve educational access, quality and delivery.
  5. To highlight and foster the role of families and communities in encouraging girls to pursue an education by consulting and mobilizing key gatekeepers, including traditional leaders, religious leaders and other community stakeholders.
  6. To intrinsically motivate and inspire female students to stay in school through tailored academic and career mentorship opportunities.

The Education Champion’s Impact

Since founding Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) in 2014, Prince Gideon has provided leadership for the design, implementation, evaluation and scale-up strategy of different evidence-based initiatives to drive educational, employability and empowerment outcomes across 12 Nigerian states. Working with funding partners which includes the UK Department for International Development (DFID), One Young World, Theirworld, The Coca Cola Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), he has facilitated creation of alternative educational access and digital learning opportunities for over 27,000 girls and 45,000 total beneficiaries in 20 communities. He also led the product design, widespread adoption and subsequent scale strategy for DigiLearns, Nigeria’s first SMS-and-USSD based knowledge-building platform for which was adjourned as one of Africa’s top education innovations for 2020. He has served as a youth advisor and ambassador to leading global education institutions, including Theirworld, One Young World, Deloitte and Queens Commonwealth Trust, on crucial education issues such as education financing, girls’ education, foundational skills development and youth employability. Gideon is a 2019 Crans Montana New Leader of Tomorrow and was named as one of JCI Nigeria’s 2021 Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Nigeria Award Winner.