By Mustapha S Koli in LRR
The Gender Education Unit under The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education through (MoBSE) with funding from UNESCO-NATCOM from Tuesday 6th –Thursday 8th December, 2022 concluded a three days sensitization and Awareness creation on the “Popularization of STEM and Digital Skills Education and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Training” for 30 adolescent girls drawn from 5 senior secondary and upper basic schools at a ceremony held at the Regional Education Directorate in Mansakonko, Lower River Region.
Speaking at the event, Madam. Isatou Jallow- Senior Education Officer at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said the objective of the activity, is to raise the awareness of participants on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, significance of Mathematics and Sciences in career development and also to create a platform for experience sharing and also to enhance the reporting and management of sexual harassment in schools.
Madam Jallow said that the emergence of Digital Technology compounded the vulnerability of Girls in both the School and Community environments and therefore the need to provide them with vital information relating to Sexual harassment.
“I must add that, this sensitization activity targeting girls from various senior secondary schools to support and encourage their specialization and training in Mathematics and Sciences will provide an alternative for self-employment and income generation,” she said.
“However, it is important to note that, the enrolment, retention and completion rates of girls at basic education levels is 82% out of which a small number of girls specialized in Mathematics and Science related areas,” she explained.
She challenged parents and Guidance’s to support girls in their career development and training endeavors to become productive members of the society.
The Regional Education Director, Mr. Mamodou G Jallow in his opening remarks attributed gender roles, drudgery on girls, Child marriage and lack of interest as some of the challenges affecting STEM Education in Schools whilst urging parents to inspire children to venture into skills acquisition.
Mr. Modou Lamin Darboe, Gender Focal Point, on his part, said that the programme will accord participants the opportunity to prevent and report Sexual harassment and other forms of violence in schools and also to understand the importance of STEM education and Digital Literacy.
He advised the participants to take the messages seriously and serve as ambassadors to the schools they represent.
The activity which is characterized by presentations, experience sharing and role plays is expected to be scaled-up to CRR North, CRR South and URR.