The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill mandating the inclusion of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in secondary school curricula across the country.
The Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, sponsored the bill titled “Mandatory Inclusion of Preventive Measures on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence into the Curriculum of all levels of Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023.”
The bill was passed at Wednesday’s plenary session which was presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Gobir said mandatory inclusion of the SGBV in school curricula, will alert secondary pupils to the risks associated with committing such acts.
While leading the debate on the bill, Gobir said “It is now important for authorities of secondary schools to include lessons on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in their curriculum for students,
“Compulsory inclusion of the SGBV in school curriculum will expose secondary students to the dangers involved in committing the act.”
He pointed out that making such mandatory would reduce the rate of SGBV, as well as further address child protection rights, rape, and harassment.
He said “It is cost-effective, timely, and sustainable. As it is said, a stitch in time saves nine.’ The bill, when enacted, will tackle the prevalent issues of the SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape, and harassment,
“To reduce cases of the SGBV and its related offense, experts have mentioned that individuals, groups, and systematic interventions should be implemented in schools and must include students, teachers, administrators, and parents’ participation.
“This is one of the systematic approaches to tackling this issue by early intervention by catching them young with this enlightenment which will also put our children on their toes to detect the red flags and be on guard. This will also avail them of the opportunity to referral pathways for reportage.
“The goal is to have at least 80 percent of all the participating students achieve satisfactory knowledge within 12 months of the rollout to each cohort. When they learn, they will pass on to their siblings, friends, and generations. This is a more sustainable systematic approach to solving this problem” he declared.