Change Reporting: Advocating Gender-Responsive Education Planning in Nigeria

Accurate and empathetic reporting on gender-responsive education sector planning (GRESP) is crucial to ensuring that the peculiar needs of schoolchildren are addressed in Nigeria.

ImpactHouse and the System Strategy and Policy Lab (SSPL) recently conducted a two-day capacity-building programme on GRESP for 27 journalists in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The journalists, selected from Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo and Sokoto, are fellows of the Change Reporting 2.0 Media Fellowship on GRESP – a programme organised by ImpactHouse in partnership with SSPL.

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Executive Director of ImpactHouse, John Andah, delivers session on advocacy journalism at the capacity building in Abuja.  Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

Gender responsiveness is the concept that underpins the state education sector planning process, laying out the framework for a casual relationship between governmental structures and functions, civic actions and gender equality outcomes in education.

In a 2023 study, the development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) reported that the integration of gender perspectives into education sector planning in states was inadequate, with policies and programmes frequently failing to address the peculiar needs of different genders, resulting in missed opportunities to promote inclusive and equitable educational environments.

change reporting
Executive Director of SSPL, Dr Murtala Adogi Mohammed, spoke on the Roadmap for the Nigerian Education Sector 2024–2027. Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

To this end, it is essential that states’ education systems are intentionally designed to be gender-responsive to enhance access, completion, and gender equity in schools.

The two-day capacity building programme, which officially opened the Change Reporting 2.0 Media Fellowship on GRESP, was aimed at equipping journalists with the skills to drive advocacy messaging as it relates to GRESP in the nine states.

Senior Programme Officer at ACE Charity, Dr Hassana Shuaibu (right), speaks on GRESP and advocacy ideas for journalists. Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

To enhance access, completion, and gender equality in education, it is essential that education systems are intentionally designed to be gender-responsive.

Executive Director of Unique Care and Support Foundation (CASFOD), Benjamin John, who joined virtually, and Director Programmes at Connected Development (CODE), Zuliha Lawal (right), speak on GRESP-related issues in states. Photo credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

The Education Sector Plan (ESP) serves as a fundamental framework for education reform in Nigeria because it offers a vital chance for the integration of gender equality throughout every facet of education.

Executive Director of H4CC, Hadiza Umar, delivers session on gender-sensitive issues. Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

And GRESP is the key method for this integration, as it pinpoints gender-specific obstacles within education systems and establishes strategies and policies within the ESP to overcome these challenges.

Change Reporting 2.0 Media Fellows
Change Reporting 2.0 Media Fellows. Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

Journalists, who have a constitutional mandate to hold the government accountable to the people, can significantly amplify the importance of gender equity within education systems, influencing public opinion and policymaking.

Programme Manager at CJID, Akintunde Babatunde, delivers session on investigative journalism. Photo credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

Therefore, the media fellows need to highlight the unique GRESP-related barriers in education in their reporting. Key areas for journalists to beam their lights on are budgeting as it relates to gender consideration in state education sector plans, administrative structures for implementing gender-responsive plans, and supportive and gender-responsive policies and laws in the ecosystem of the plan.

Change Reporting 2.0 Fellows. Photo Credit: ImpactHouse/Usman Ahmad Yarwa

The Change Reporting Fellows are expected to foster public awareness and influence positive policy changes by bringing these issues to the forefront.

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