The Federal Ministry of Education, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the United Nations Children’s Fund have collaborated to support the education of 1.5 million girls in northern Nigeria.
These three parties implemented Phase 3 Girls’ Education Program between 2012 and 2022 in Katsina, Kano, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara and Bauchi states in response to the low level of participation of girls.
At the national closing ceremony of GEP3 held in Abuja on Thursday, partners announced that the program’s $109 million investment had yielded positive results in enrolling 1.5 million more girls in school.
Girls’ primary school attendance rate in the six states improved from 43% to 70%, and gender parity improved from 0.73 to 0.97, UNICEF said in a statement on Wednesday.
Speaking on the project, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said: “In our commitment to significantly reduce the number of out-of-school children, Nigeria appreciates the scaling up of evidence-based solutions to combat this menace as provided through the GEP3.
“As we continue on this path, we would build on the success of GEP3 to plan better, budget better and make better decisions to get more girls to school.”
UNICEF Nigeria Representative Cristian Munduate said, “GEP3 has not only succeeded in enrolling more girls in formal and non-formal schools, but has also improved learning outcomes.
“GEP3 has raised the profile of girls’ education, created new positive social norms in many communities and enabled a transformative change in mindsets about the importance of girls’ education. It is essential to advocate scaling up the approach in all states.
“I express UNICEF’s gratitude to the UK Government for this long-term commitment and funding to ensure access to primary education for girls in northern Nigeria.
“There is a lot of work to be done together to ensure that girls transition to and complete secondary education. This is important not only for the economic prosperity and well-being of the girl child and her family, but also to stem the expected high population growth in Nigeria.
“We see the FCDO and the Nigerian government as steadfast partners in this complex endeavour.”