NGOP0012-INTERVIEW WITH ONI OLUWAFUNMILAYO (IRANWO INITIATIVE)
Oni Oluwafunmilayo is my guest today on the episode 12 of NGOpodcast, and she is the founder of Iranwo initiative a Non governmental organization which focuses on reducing the RATE OF GIRL CHILD OUT OF SCHOOL IN NIGERIA by sending them to school and teaching them entrepreneurship skills.
Here is a quick fact about Out-of-school girls in Nigeria;
According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF, 2007), 40% of Nigerian children aged 6–11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Sixty percent (60%) of out-of-school children are girls. Many of those who do enroll drop out early (UNICEF, n.d.). Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent years, it is estimated that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school. Out-of-school girls are the focus of this research and it refers to girls who have never attended school or attended school in the past but are not attending in the current school year.
“In the Northern part of the country, the number of children out of school is particularly high and the proportion of girls to boys in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys and even 1 to 3 in two states. School leaving rates are much higher among older Nigerian children, and relatively infrequent in the age 12–14 range.”
Girls’ education does not only bring the immediate benefit of empowering girls but is seen as the best investment in a country’s development. Educated girls develop essential life skills, including self-confidence, the ability to participate effectively in society, and protect themselves from HIV/AIDS, sexual exploitation. Girl’s education also helps cutting children and maternal mortality rates, contributing to national wealth and controlling disease and health status. Children of educated women are more likely to go to school and, consequently, this has exponential positive effects on education and poverty reduction for generations to come.
Poverty and economic issues, early marriage and teenage pregnancy, inadequate school infrastructure and cultural and religious misinterpretation are the main issues that prevent girls from going to school (UNICEF, 2007). Poverty remains a deep-rooted development issue in Nigeria, which ranked 142 out of 169 countries on the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) with 63.5 % of its population living in poverty (UNICEF, 2012). As such, girls are often sent to work in the markets or hawk wares on the streets. Early marriage and teenage pregnancy also prevent girls from going to school. A lot of girls drop out of school before reaching primary class six.
However, School participation remains a challenge across Nigeria, and obstacles are particularly severe in northern states. In addition to issues of school access, family and school resources, and attitudes towards education, school attendance in northern Nigeria is impeded by the increasingly brazen extremism of Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, and its targeting of girls’ education (Hatch, 2012). The April 2010 kidnapping of an estimated 276 school girls in Borno state by Boko Haram testifies to the magnitude of risk that girls and young women bear when they attend school. This challenge to safety accompanies great educational need in most parts of Northern Nigeria, where the female secondary school net attendance rate is only 29% in comparison to a national average of 53% (Hatch, 2012).
With that being said, Nongovernmental organization like AREAi by Prince Gideon Olanrewaju , SERA School Initiative by Vincent Adeoba and more has been trying there best to contribute their own quota in reducing the rate of children out of school in Nigeria.
In the same vein, My guest Oni Oluwafunmilayo from Iranwo initiative an NGO which focuses on reducing the rate of girl child out of School in Nigeria by sending them to school and teaching them entrepreneurship skills, talk more on how her organization has been contributing there own quota to the betterment of the country.
Listen to my interview session with her.
British Council Nigeria (2012) Gender in Nigeria Report 2012: Improving the lives of girls and women in Nigeria — issues, policies action. Nigeria.
Hatch, R. (2012). Schooling in northern Nigeria: Challenges for girls’ education. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://www.epdc.org/epdc-data-points/schooling-northern-nigeria-challenges-girls-education
Nigeria, U. (2007). UNICEF Factsheet on Girl’s Education in Nigeria.
UNICEF. (n.d.). Quality basic education — the situation. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://www.unicef.org/nigeria/education_2161.html
UNICEF. (2012). Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children — Nigeria Country Study.