Our Correspondent, Bauchi
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Field Office, Bauchi, said it has enrolled 1.1 million girls in schools in Bauchi State.
Mr Zighe Icunoamlak, the Officer in charge of the Field Office, Bauchi, made this disclosure on Wednesday, during a stakeholders meeting, at the Emir’s Palace, Bauchi.
Icunoamlak said the feat was achieved under the Girls Education Programme (GEP), implemented by the UNICEF and other development partners.
He said GEP was being implemented in Alkaleri; Shira, Ningi, Ganjuwa, Zaki and Toro Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, the school enrollment for the girl child has increased to 1,130,456 since inception of the programme, in the participating councils.
“It is believed that at the end of 2020, the GEP 3 must have succeeded in getting approximately 214,758 additional girls into school in Bauchi State.
“It is a milestone feat to have gotten up to 1,130,456 girls’ enrollment in schools in the state,” he said.
He explained that, based on the identified barriers and bottlenecks to girl’s education in the state, “GEP3 Theory of Change” and interventions, were planned to reduce these barriers to deliver results under three outputs.
He listed the three key areas to include; increased enrolment and retention for girls in basic education, improved capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning for girls and improved governance to strengthen girls’ education.
The UNICEF official noted that it was imperative to get the commitment and endorsement of the community leaders and other stakeholders, on the need to establish local accountability framework to ensure sustainability of the programme.
“With the programme coming to an end on 30 June, 2021, it becomes very important to identify the lessons learnt and good practices from the GEP3 to ensure the gains are not lost.
“Therefore, this gathering today is to get the commitment and endorsement of the Emirate Council with stakeholders, on establishment of local accountability systems for the sustainability of GEP 3, in Bauchi State.
“I assure you that UNICEF is committed to sustaining support to Nigerian government at the Federal and state levels, to ensure quality education and development of children.
“UNICEF commends everyone for their support to education and reiterates her commitment to continue to partner with the government, and all stakeholders to ensure that all school-aged children in Nigeria access their right to quality education,” he said.
Responding, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, commended UNICEF and other partners for their continuous support for the state in healthcare and education development.
Adamu said girl child education was particularly important, to the development of the society, adding that: “educating a girl child was equivalent to educating a nation.”
The Emir who is also the Chairman, Bauchi State Council of Emirs assured that GEP 3 programme would change the narrative of the girl- child education in the state.
He said that traditional institutions in the state were ready to support any programme that brought positive impacts on the lives of the people of the state.
GEP 3 is an eight-year project that sought to ensure more girls completed basic education and acquired skills for livelihoods.
GEP 3 is being implemented in Katsina, Sokoto, Bauchi, Niger, and Zamfara states.
The programme is being managed by UNICEF, in partnership with the federal and state governments.
GEP 3 is being funded by Foreign and Commonwealth Development Organisation (FCDO), which was aimed at improving access, retention and learning outcomes for girls