16,620 girls to benefit from AGILE project in Bauchi State – Official

No fewer than 16,620 adolescent girls will benefit from a viable education support under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, (AGILE) project in Bauchi State.

The Project Coordinator, Dr Jamila Mohammed-Dahiru, said this during a breakfast meeting with heads of media organisations in Bauchi on Saturday.

AGILE is being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education with support from the World Bank, designed to improve basic and post-basic education opportunities for adolescent girls.

Children in Nigeria, especially girls are being faced with challenges preventing them from accessing and completing secondary education due to socio-cultural, financial constraints, and infrastructural deficits.

The project seeks to tackle the challenges and improve education opportunities in 18 participating states, to make education more appealing to adolescent girls, parents, and communities.

The AGILE project consists of three main components which include Creating Safe and Accessible Learning Spaces, Fostering an Enabling Environment for Girls, Project Management and System Strengthening.

Mohammed-Dahiru said that Bauchi government had submitted its proposed Work Plan to the national coordinating unit and contributed N150 million as counterpart fund to facilitate successful implementation of the project in the state.

She said the state’s Project Unit had identified 120 schools and 30 non-formal schools for participation through a community driven approach to ensure sustainability of the project.

The project, she said, would be implemented based on a 60/40 per cent ratio for girls and boys in basic and post-basic schools across 20 local government areas of the state.

The Project Coordinator said the state planned to construct new classrooms to expand 60 schools and rehabilitate dilapidated ones in 60 other schools.

The schools, she said, would be provided with facilities such as furniture, learning materials and information technology facilities to make them functional, safe, inclusive, and more conducive to teaching and learning.

On Fostering an Enabling Environment for Girls, she said, the objective was to promote behavioural change which acts as a barrier to girls’ education through sensitisation and advocacy campaigns to promote girls’ education and empowerment.

“It also aimed at enhancing digital literacy and entrepreneurial skills development, to empower girls to enable them to be useful as they transit to adulthood.

“We have a Conditional Cash Transfer programme to provide financial incentives to the poorest households, to address barriers to girls’ enrollment, retention and completion of school.

“Each of the beneficiaries will receive N5,000 for the junior schools and N10,000 for those in senior schools per term, respectively,” she said.

“While the Management and System Strengthening component of the project seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity of federal and state governments to support girls’ education and empowerment.

“We also have a Teacher Professional Development programme and planned to review curriculum as well as the School Based Management Committees (SBMCs),” she said.

According to her, the state government will recruit additional 3,000 teachers to ensure effective management of the schools.

She added that teachers and members of the School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) would be trained to fast track effective monitoring and supervision for successful implementation of the project.

She, therefore, sought the support of the media in creating awareness in the communities to mobilise participation in the project. (NAN)

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