The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has integrated Qur’anic Schools with pre-primary education in Bauchi State.
The global children’s body also enrols 650,265 out-of-school girls on schools across the state as part of its Girls’ Education Project.
The Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Field Office Bauchi, Dr Tushar Rane stated this during a media Dialogue on Girls Education, held at the Chartwell Hotel Bauchi on Wednesday.
He said despite the benefits of educating the girl child, out of the 10 million children in Nigeria, 60 percent of whom are girls are out of school, pointing out that the education of the girl child is critical to transforming communities, reducing inequalities, and strengthening economies.
“When we educate the girl child, child marriage and child mortality rates reduce. The situation with girls’ education has been worsened by attacks on schools which have made the learning environment insecure and discouraged parents and caregivers from sending their wards, particularly girls, to schools.
“The GEP3 initiative was designed to enhance the enrollment drive for girls, improve learning outcomes for girls and strengthen government’s policy-making for continued support to girl child education. The project was implemented in 6 states in northern Nigeria — Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara,” he said.
The Field Officer disclosed that UNICEF, with funding support from development partners, is collaborating with the government to build the capacity of school-based management Committees (SBMCs) and Community-based Management Committees (CBMCs) on school safety and security, and to make communities more resilient.
Dr Tushar said Girl4Girl and HeForShe activities of the project empowered about 9,000 girls and boys in Bauchi state to use peer support mechanisms to create demand for girl child enrollment in their communities, adding that strengthening the capacity of teachers is crucial for the retention of girl children who enrol in schools.
“The GEP3 project implemented various capacity building initiatives for teachers while a total of 11,000 teachers have received training on topics such as leadership skills to enable effective running of schools, Early Grade Reading pedagogies to enable early grasp of literacy skills and other key topics essential for effective service delivery”
“The project successfully strengthened school governance systems through the facilitation of eight annual school censuses, strengthening school record keeping, developing Local Education Sector Operational Plan to align with the state Education Sector Plan, and improving the functionality of SBMCs and CBMCs,” he said.
WikkiTimes gathered that the project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK with a focus on the UNICEF Girl Education Project Phase 3, (GEP3) supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom (UK).