UNICEF Targets Enrolment of One Million Girls in Six Northern States

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) has targeted the enrolment of one million girls into primary and integrated Qur’anic schools in six Northern States in 2020 through its Girls Education Project Phase 3 (GEP3).

The organisation is also targeting 1.9 million boys under its GEP3’s investment through improvements of teachers quality and school governance in Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi and Niger States.

The UNICEF Education Officer, Katsina Field Office, Mr. Saka Adebayo Ibraheem, disclosed this yesterday in Katsina during a meeting with members of School-Based Management Committee (SBMC).

The one-day orientation meeting, which was aimed at strengthening the roles of the SBMC and communities in ensuring safe reopening of schools and learning facilities, drew participants from all the 34 local government areas of the state.

He said the project, which has eight years life span, started in 2012 and is being driven by SBMC to ensure effective mobilisation of girl child for school enrolment.

The UNICEF education officer added that 42,000 primary schools and integrated Qur’anic teachers across the six benefiting states would be trained and mentored in child-centred pedagogy.

He added that 15,300 head teachers would also be trained by the non-profit organisation on school effectiveness, efficiency and curriculum management in the affected states.

Ibraheem attributed non-enrolment in schools to distant location of schools, which represents 44 per cent, opportunity costs (36 per cent) and direct cost (26 per cent) for non-enrolment.

He said: “The main reasons given for girls dropout from school are direct cost, which represents 29 per cent, those who are with no interest in education represent 25 per cent, while opportunities costs stands at 23 per cent.”

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Lawal Buhari, said the state government was putting precautionary measures in place for the safe reopening of schools across the state.

He said that arrangements were on the pipeline to also train heads of primary and secondary schools on safety measures in line with the guidelines released by federal government for reopening of schools.