20,802 Katsina Out-of-School Children Have Access to Learning on UNICEF Partnership

Francis Sardauna in Katsina

No fewer than 20,802 out-of-school children in Katsina State will now have access to learning following the launching of the cash transfer programme by the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) in partnership with the state government.

The sum of N332,832,000 will be disbursed through the cash transfer programme to 20,802 out-of-school children and Almajirai in Kafur, Mani and Safana Local Government Area of the state to provide learning opportunities for them and improve their socio-economic wellbeing. Speaking during the launching of the programme in Mani yesterday, the Chief of UNICEF Kano Field Office, Mr. Rahama Mohammed Farah, said the cash transfer programme would reduce the number of 536,132 children currently out of school in the state.

The cash transfer programme, funded by the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) of Qatar under its Educate A Child programme (EAC), is being implemented by UNICEF in Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto states.

Farah explained that the funds would be distributed through 10,557 female parents and caregivers to assist 20,802 out-of-school children to return to school.

He reiterated that each female parent and caregiver would receive N8,000 per tranche twice in 2022, amounting to N16,000 per beneficiary across the three benefiting local governments in the state.

He said the cash transfer programme would also ensure that Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) in Kafur, Mani and Safana are equipped with literacy and numeracy skills for employability and livelihood schemes.

According to Farah, “Through this cash transfer programme, a total of N332,832,000 will be disbursed to 20,802 out-of-school children in Kafur, Mani and Safana LGAs of Katsina State.”

He, however, enumerated low educational attainment, intergenerational poverty, perpetuating inequalities and poor learning outcomes as factors undermining girls’ social and economic development in the state.

Notwithstanding, Farah assured the state government of UNICEF’s continued support and partnership in order to deliver on the right to safe, inclusive and quality learning for every child in the state.

The state Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, while inaugurating the cash transfer programme, described it as a laudable programme that will boost enrolment and retention of children in schools across the state.

He vowed that the implementation unit of the cash transfer programme will monitor the programme and ensure that the beneficiaries make judicious use of the resources given to them to engage their education.

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