The bill’s will introduce early intervention measures, empowering students to recognise warning signs of sexual abuse, violence.
The Nigerian Senate has successfully passed a bill that aims to incorporate education on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) into the curriculum of secondary school students across the country.
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,” was approved during a plenary session presided over by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir, the Senate Leader, sponsored the bill and emphasised its significance in ensuring that secondary school students remain aware of the dangers associated with SGBV.
According to Senator Gobir, the legislation will not only help address the escalating rate of SGBV cases but also provide essential protection for children and combat related violations.
Senator Gobir stated, “It is cost-effective, timely, and sustainable. Like it is said, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ The bill, when enacted, will tackle the prevalent issues of SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape, and harassment.”
To effectively reduce instances of SGBV and its associated offenses, experts have recommended implementing systematic interventions in schools involving the active participation of students, teachers, administrators, and parents.
The bill’s objective is to introduce early intervention measures, empowering students to recognise warning signs and report incidents through designated referral pathways.
The bill sets an ambitious goal of ensuring that at least 80 percent of participating students achieve satisfactory knowledge on SGBV within 12 months of its implementation for each cohort. Senator Gobir believes that this knowledge will be disseminated to siblings, friends, and future generations, thus establishing a sustainable and systematic approach to addressing this pressing problem.