The First Edition of Ja Muje Round Table held on February 23, 2017 at the Grand Central Hotel in the city of Kano, Kano State of Northern Nigeria. The event officially marked the kick-off of the project.
The event kicked off at 11am. In attendance were representatives of 12 States from Northern Nigeria, selected from more than 50 shortlisted candidates, based on their experience in the field of education and their contribution to the sector in the region.
Farida Yahya, Project Coordinator gave a stirring opening speech, highlighting the conditions that spurred the creation of Ja Muje RoundTable and the need for collective and community driven solutions.
The breakout session led by Zahrah Buba and afforded Participants the opportunity to outline problems affecting education that are peculiar to their states.
Following revelations by the state representatives, it was obvious that there are similar challenges working against education in the region. Some of the most persistent issues were insecurity, religious and cultural misconceptions about western education and the unwillingness of parents, guardians and other holders of constituted authority to embrace the proposed benefits a good education presents.
Other concerns raised were the fear of sexual abuse, especially against female students, this being the major reason a large number of parents chose not to send their girls to school.
There was a general agreement that the almajiri system was contributing to the stagnation of capacity in the north as hundreds of thousands of young boys and girls are redundant, without the life skills required to better themselves and the lot of their communities.
Lack of motivation for teachers, unpaid salaries and the denial of benefits were also issues addressed.
With each representative proffering a solution to these peculiar problems, the common goal was to find ways to sustain these solutions while engaging communities. Mediation and sensitization was adopted as the most effective tools.
In conclusion, the first edition of Ja Muje RoundTable was revealing in many ways. For most state representatives, it was a hardly found opportunity to interact with their colleagues in the education system from other parts of the country. These participants made a commitment to integrate the collective solutions shared at the event and synergize them with the help of Ja Muje for the growth of education in the region and overall development.