THE United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that it plans to enrol one million out-of-school girls in schools by 2020 in Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Kano state.
The organisation said the enrolment goal would be done under its Girls Education Project 3 (GEP3) in these six northern states using the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC).
UNICEF GEP 3 Kano State Coordinator, Richard Akanet, disclosed these at a two-day media dialogue organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF in Kano state.
The project, funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development, is an eight-year project (2012 to 2020) aimed at contributing to improving the social and economic opportunity for girls in northern Nigeria.
Akanet said that 42,000 primary and Islamic school teachers have also been trained and mentored in child-friendly pedagogy under the programme.
He noted that 1,900,000 boys had also benefitted from the programme through investments in “improvements to teacher quality and school governance.”
Akanet said: “Socio-economic status has been the main reason behind not being enrolled in school. Since May 2012, UNICEF has been implementing the eight-year GEP3 (2012-2020) funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development, which aims at contributing to improved social and economic opportunity for girls in northern Nigeria.
“The major focus is to get school-age girls to school, without neglecting boys’ enrollment.
“The main reasons given for girls drop out from school are; a direct cost which represents 29 per cent, those who are with no interest in education represent 25 per cent, while opportunities costs stand at 23 per cent.
“Our target is one million additional girls in school and our outputs are; increased enrolment and retention for girls in basic education, improved capacity for teachers to deliver effective learning for girls and improved governance to strengthen girls’ education.
“The expected results by 2020 are; approximately one million girls into school, primary and integrated Qur’anic schools; 1.6million girls reached by improved teaching and learning environments.
“Also, 15,300 headteachers have been trained in school effectiveness and curriculum management, and approximately 1.9million boys have benefited from GEP 3 interventions.”
He said the goal of the SBMC is to improve in school enrolment, especially for girls, as well as a remarkable decrease in schoolgirls’ dropout.