Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), on Tuesday in Abuja said the commission would support the introduction of Gender Studies in Nigerian universities.
Okojie made this known when he received a delegation of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in Nigeria.
He said that the introduction of the gender studies in the universities would educate students more on the peculiarities and uniqueness of the women folk.
He recalled that as a Vice-Chancellor, he encouraged the appointment of female deans of faculties.
Okojie described the role of women in the society as very critical to the growth and development of the nation.
He advised the group to adopt a system approach by organising a stakeholders’ conference, where adequate sensitisation would be done to inform the general public on the need to support women programme.
The executive secretary called for the involvement of more women in leadership and also for consistent training on skills acquisition.
Okojie, while commending the group, assured the forum of the commission’s support in achieving its objectives
Earlier, the President of FAWE, Mrs Marie Sojirin, said that the group came to seek collaboration on ways of promoting better life for girl-child and women in the Nigerian University System.
Sojirin said that the activities of the organisation included addressing constraints to access; retention and performance in the educational process; undertaking advocacy to raise awareness and influence policy and attitudes.
She said that others are developing gender-responsive models for training teachers, improving learning processes and environments and empowering girls to facilitate the replication of FAWE best practices into the national education system.
She said that the body had been organising counselling programmes in universities for female students who had been discouraged from continuing their studies in order to persuade and keep them in schools.
Sojirin said that FAWE had also been providing financial support for less privileged female students and was working on balancing the disparity between the science and art-based subjects in secondary schools.
“I observed that girl-child shows more interest in the Liberal Arts.’’
She said that through the advocacy campaigns by FAWE, many African governments had adopted gender-positive and friendly policies.
She said that these policies include primary education, re-entry policies for adolescent girls, gender-positive pedagogy and appointment of more female teachers.
She said that FAWE also aimed at ensuring the economic empowerment of girls living in vulnerable situations through skills acquisition.
She solicited the support of NUC to enable it to actualise its programmes. (NAN)