The Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria has partnered with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to finance the education of 1.5 million Northern Nigerian girls.
The parties, in response to the low number of girls receiving formal education in the northern part of Nigeria, implemented the Girls’ Education Programme Phase 3 across Katsina, Kano, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara and Bauchi States between 2012 and 2022.
Giving a report at the national closing ceremony of GEP3 held in Abuja on Thursday, the partners said the investment of $109 million in the programmes yielded positive results as an additional 1.5 million girls were enrolled in school.
According to a statement by UNICEF On Wednesday, the intervention of the partners increased the attendance rate of girls in primary schools in the six states from 43% to 70% and gender equality from 0.73 to 0.97.
Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education who spoke on the project said, “In our commitment to drastically reduce the number of out-of-school children, Nigeria appreciates the scaling of evidence-based solutions in tackling this menace as provided through the GEP3.
“As we continue on this path, we would leverage on the success of GEP3 to plan better, budget better, and make better decisions in putting more girl-child in school.”
Also speaking, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, said, “GEP3 has not only been successful in getting more girls into formal and non-formal schools, but it has also improved learning outcomes.
“GEP3 has raised the profile of educated girls, created new positive social norms in many communities and enabled a transformational shift in mindsets about the importance of girls’ education. It is critical that we advocate scaling of the approach in all states.
“I express the deep appreciation of UNICEF to the UK Government for this long-term commitment and funding for girls’ access to primary school in northern Nigeria.
“Together there remains much work to be done, to ensure that girls transition to, and complete secondary education. This is important not only for the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the girl and her family but to stem the high population growth expected in Nigeria.
“We see FCDO and the government of Nigeria as steadfast partners in this complex endeavour.”
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