Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
Sokoto State Government and the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to integrate over 132,000 Almajiris and adolescent girls into Western education.
Addressing journalists after signing the document, A’ishatu Dantsoho, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, said the programme would cover the 23 local government areas of the state.
Dantsoho explained that the partnership had six thematic areas, and eight local government areas were selected for the pilot programme to cover at least 5,000 out-of-school children and adolescents girls under the first phase.
The permanent secretary said while the ministry would handle the adolescents girls programme, the Board of Arabic and Islamic Education would integrate Almajiri children into formal education.
According to her, children and girls within school age will be reintegrated back to the school system with the support of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, and the State Primary Education Board.
She further explained that adolescent girls would in addition to formal education, receive vocational training and business skills, with link to health, livelihoods, hygiene, sanitation and other services.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Arabic and Islamic Education Board, Dr. Altine Dandin-Mahe, said the landmark programme would reduce the percentage of out-of-school children in the state.
Earlier, the UNICEF Deputy Field Officer, Almustapha Danjuma, said synergy is key to achieving progress in child protection, adding that UNICEF is committed to the wellbeing of children, especially in the area of education.
Dantsoho and Dandin-Mahe signed the document on behalf of their respective organisations, while Danjuma signed for UNICEF.