The Girls’ Education Project (GEP3) Which seeks to improve school access, retention and learning outcomes for girls in some selected northern states of Nigeria continues to record more success in Danbatta Local Government Area of Kano State, recent findings show.
The project which pilots a series of intervention programs in primary schools and selected integrated Qur’anic Schools is implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK.
According to the Headmaster of one of the integrated schools, Khadija Memorial primary and islamiya school, Zakari Sani since the beginning of the intervention, the school has witnessed an increase in the number of girls’ enrollment into the school especially orphans who previously couldn’t afford to pay their fee.
“As a result of the GEP3 intervention, the number of girls coming to our school has increased significantly.
“We now have more of the girls within the community coming to school, reducing their presence on the streets hawking.
“Many parents find it difficult to send their wards to school due to inability to provide them with writing materials, uniforms and pay their fees, but all these have been now taken care of by the UNICEF”, Sani added.
The Headmaster who applauded the gesture by UNICEF further revealed that funds received were also used to carry out renovation work within and around the school compound such as the renovation of the school toilet and drainage.
“Through the funds we received, we have been able to renovate our toilets and drainages that is in addition to writing materials received and we hope that the intervention will further help us repair a section of our fence which has collapsed”, Sani pleads.
Ibrahim Adamu, Chairman, Khadija Memorial School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) speaking on the intervention stated that “the project didn’t stop only at providing for the children, but also include us the members of the SBMCs. I remember we have attended a training session”.
“This intervention if sustained, I assure you will go a long way in addressing the issue of the girl-child roaming the streets and not going to the school”, he stressed.
Hajiya Salma Audi, a mother and member of the Khadija Memorial School’s SBMC explained that the intervention has also empowered them with more reasons to convince parents who wouldn’t allow their girls go to school.
According to her, parents now have no reasons to deprive their girls from coming to school because their major concerns which are usually the fees and other school materials have been taken care of by the UNICEF through the GEP3 Project.
“We are happy at the school’s committee level seeing how parents now rush to enroll their girl-child who are the mothers and foundation of every society to acquire both Islamic and western education under formal atmosphere”.