How cultural norms, poverty, others stall education development in Adamawa


Cultural Norms, Dogma and Poverty have continued to constitute a clog in the wheel of Educational Advancement in Adamawa state, Hassan Umar Shallpella Reports on the impact of EU-ACT on CSOs toward addressing the issue in the state.

Education is the driving force to sustainable development; and therefore, remains a key to the peaceful and economic advancement of any nation. However, many people in Adamawa State especially women and girls have no access to education due to some factors ranging from cultural norms, insecurity, Sexual reproductive health, and poverty which deprives them of exploring their God-given potential.

In Adamawa state, this deprivation has created barriers to the enrollment of children in schools with boys outnumbering girls. To stem the tide and to ensure every child has access to education regardless of gender; Civil Society Organizations have come out with various policies to address the trend.

For instance, 195 nations in September 2015 agreed with the United Nations and established Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 17 goals aimed to change the world for the better, and goal 4 is about education tagged: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

How EU-ACT programme modify the modus operandi of CSOs in Adamawa State

Before the inception of the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) Programme funded by the European Union in Adamawa State, the majority of CSOs operating in the state are conducting their affairs not in conformity with the operational standard of CSO which invariably affects their visibility.

However, succour came to them in 2021 when the EU-ACT Programme rolled out its activities of supporting CSOs. The EU-ACT programme nurtured the CSOs which resulted in restructuring their organizational framework and organogram to be in conformity with International standards. Equally, the peer education programme has now fostered unity and further cemented relationships amongst various CSOs in the state.

The capacity building for CSOs in Adamawa State has helped them in addressing the problem, therefore, the EU-ACT programme has impacted positively on the benefitting communities.

According to the Executive Director, of Society for Women and Girls Empowerment (SWOGE) Yola, Adamawa State Mrs. Lauretta Charles based on the capacity training, it has adopted the modules, and officials of the organization interacted with stakeholders, parents/guardians, and primary school pupils themselves.

“We went to the level of interacting with the primary school pupils about sexual reproductive health it was a great success because these little children have something to share about their sexual reproductive health.”

“After identifying the issue we organize a town hall meeting and discuss with the Parents and Guardians looking for ways to resolve issues by themselves and promise to make sure that this issue of Sexual Reproductive Health in their community is resolved, this was a result of capacity building we received from EU-ACT programme”.

“With the training, we can develop our first operational plan, we have a financial direction that we are not following before like the use of petty cash and the use of cash book, it has strengthened us and put us in the right direction to make sure that all our expenditure should be e-transactions which we were not doing before”.

Dr. Usman Ahmad Dadah, Executive Director, of Dadah Foundation for Educational Empowerment (DAFEE) Yola Adamawa State, stated that the training and other capacity building by the EU-ACT program have led to a change in the profile of the organization.

“Under the EU-ACT pact, we have benefitted tremendously, we have to change everything about our profile, our name, and whatever we have before because now we understood that what we did before was not properly done, we have organized the office to become an international standard.

“The capacity training we received from EU-ACT has given us more direction and insight on how to ensure everybody has access to education”.

“Our objectives are to ensure that all those that are fortunately found out of school or facing difficulty in continuing with their schools are supported through payment of school fees and award of scholarship,” he said.

Programme Officer Pastoral Reserve (PARE), Abubakar Gambo collaborated by saying: “Before, we use to carry out activities based on assumption without partnering with stakeholders, but now with the training, we involved communities, key stakeholders and seek their advises and inputs in proposal writing on issues that have to do with project implementation in the benefiting community”.

“As a result of the training we have received, we have supported six community-based organizations with capacity building in the areas of financial management, conflict management, and organizational development,” he said.
Government’s efforts to Provision of Education for all.

Emmanuel Adiel, Director of Literacy, Adamawa State Mass Education Board (ADSEMA) said the priority is given to dropout girls or those who have not attended the functional literacy education, adding that in partnering with UNICEF, NGOs and CSOs about 2,450 learners graduated from the established learning centers in Hong, Mubi North, and Mubi South local government areas.

“Priority is given to women, if we consider the nature of our economic pursuit in our developing countries including Nigeria, our economy is leaping simply because one part of the resources is left untapped, that is women because some women were left in purdah, others drop out for early marriage due to cultural or traditional reasons, they have not got an opportunity to further their education,” he said.

According to Jika Abdulhameed, Director of Quality Assurance, Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB), Yola states that the board has established a program in schools tagged “He for She and Her for He” aimed at promoting Girl Child education.

Reactions of Stakeholders/Parents

Some parents and stakeholders in the educational sector in Adamawa state have lauded the activities of CSOs with intervention programs which according to them will inspire more pupils to attend schools.

Alh Abubakar Sadiq, Chairman of the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) Yelwa Primary School-Jimeta (Yola North LGA) said activities of CSOs towards educational advancement in the community cannot be overemphasized, while Abdullahi Modibbo, Headteacher of Yelwa primary school (Yola North LGA) appreciates the effort of the foundation that called for intervention in the area of furniture.

Assistant Headteacher Yolde Pate primary school (Yola South LGA), Hajiya Aisha I. Mohammed lauded the donation of educational material by one of the CSOs working with EU-ACT “the books will assist children in remembering what they were taught in class”.

Paul Kwaji who resides in the Vunokalang area (Girei LGA) shared the same opinion, noting that the materials will assist children of the poor to own writing materials.

One of the parents in the State, Maude Hammawa said, “it will stimulate learning amongst the pupils” considering the number of out-of-school children in his area.


The role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in complementing government efforts in the provision of basic amenities to vulnerable people, particularly in hard-to-reach areas cannot be undervalued. Also, knowledge acquired by the Civil Society Organizations after EU-ACT training has put the CSOs in Adamawa on a pedestal in which they would carry out any activities in line with International standards because the training has reshaped their mode of operations.
It is therefore pertinent for sustain projects, aside from the sensitization on the need for communities to embrace and own the projects executed in their communities, stakeholders and the benefitting communities should be involved in the planning stage through the implementation and execution of any projects for them to value it and invariably give them a sense of belonging.

There is also a need for government to ensure equitable distribution of resources in the education sector to all gender, while NGOs should look at some areas that were seems to be neglected by the government and intervene for the benefit of the larger society, as the saying goes nobody can clap with a single hand, also an individual can’t lift up a roof alone, hence the need for government, NGOs, Parents, guardians, and other stakeholders to collaborate with each other with the aimed to disabuse the minds of those who sees women and girls education ends in the kitchen.

Government and donor agencies should collaborate for desired outputs, while government should increase its budgetary allocation to education with fullest implementation, donor agencies should expand their areas of intervention in the educational sector that would focus on vulnerable residing in rural areas.

Journalist’s Investigative Reporting on “Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning” was supported by the British Council, European Union-Agents for Citizen Driven Transformation (ACT).


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