1.5m Girls Enrolled in 6 Northern Nigeria States in 10yrs under GEP3 – Report

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Over 1.5 million girls were enrolled in Schools within 10 years in 6 Northern States in Nigeria under the Girls Education Project phase 3, otherwise known as GEP3.

The project which commenced in 2012 and ended in 2022 targeted 1m girls and surpassed it’s target with over 500,000 girls by household, according to findings of an evaluation of the project presented in Kaduna on Wednesday.

The findings revealed that 23,655 girls benefited from the cash transfer program and over 67,000 teachers and Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS), facilitators were trained; teaching competency improved from 12% to 52%.

2.6 million children continued education through alternate learning during COVID-
19; back-to-school campaigns conducted in 18,567 schools, resulting in 94% of children returned to school and over 135,000 girls benefited through 4,514 functioning Girls for Girls (G4G), groups; school attendance improved from 43% to 70%

The report further added that over 3,800 schools and IQS implemented RANA with improvement in foundational literacy and that functionality of Schools Based Management Committee (SBMC) and Community Based Management Committees (CBMCs) increased from 30% to 80%, per cent of schools with whole school development plans including activities on girls’ enrolment and retention increased from 45% to 67%.

GEP3 was funded by Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), UK, through UNICEF and implemented by the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria with the aim to improve access, enrolment. retention, and learning outcomes for girls in basic education in Northern Nigeria, states of Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kano states.

Speaking during the dissemination meeting of the findings, the Officer in Charge (OiC), UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Dr. Idris Baba, noted that the success of the project can be attributed to adopting a comprehensive societal approach, considering a wide range of social, psychosocial, cultural, and economic factors that affect girls’ education.

“The combination of multiple intervention types, targeting various stakeholders and utilizing different change inducing modalities, was instrumental in inducing the desired shifts in perceptions and behaviours.

“The Girls’ Education Programme 2012-2022 in Northern Nigeria has made remarkable progress in reducing inequalities and improving girls’ access, enrolment, retention, and learning outcomes in basic education. The achievements, lessons learned, and recommendations presented in this brief demonstrate the program’s effectiveness and provide valuable insights for future interventions.” He added.

In her remarks, Director, Senior Secondary Education Department, Federal Ministry Education, Hajiya Binta Abdulkadir, who was represented by Mrs. Monica Ogah, Director, Unity Schools Division, stated that GEP3 was a success in so many ways, as it changed the narrative in school enrolment and completion at the Basic Education level.

According to her, “GEP3 was conceived as a result of the success achieved through the implementation of GEP1 and GEP2. The increasing need to improve enrolment, retention and completion rate at the Basic Education level cannot be overemphasized hence GEP 3 focused on three thematic areas.

“Enrolment Drive, improving teacher Capacity to deliver effective learning and improved governance to strengthen education. Under these thematic areas, other activities like the Cash Transfer programme, Community engagement (School Based Management Committee- SBMC), Centre Based Management Committee-CBMC, Mothers’ Association all helped to achieve improved access, retention and completion of school.

“GEP3 also provided capacity development for teachers and school administrators. Through strategies like the High Level Women Advocates (HILWA), G4G and other activities, girls were supported and mentored to enroll, remain, complete and transit to higher levels of education. These strategies impacted positively on girls enrolment and completion of school.”


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