UNICEF enrols over 1.2m Nigerian out-of-school girls

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The United Nations International Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF), has enrolled over 1,135, 465 out of school girls back to school across six states in Nigeria through its education support programme.

Mrs Azuka Menkiti, an education specialist with UNICEF Abuja office, made this known in an interview in Abuja at the end of a two-day educational steering committee meeting.

She said the committee was setup to oversee the implementation of 33 projects across across six states to enable UNICEF to work with both states and the Federal Government.

According to her, the essence is to bring additional one million girls to school with series of interventions.

Menkiti, said a sub technical committee meeting has been comprising of technical staff across the six states, directors of planning and directors of mobilisation and Federal Ministry of Education.

She said the sub committee would access the progress achieved over a period of eight years to reflect on the key challenges.

“She said “we have been able to reach our target and we are sure that a lot more girls have to come back to school because of this intervention.

“Our record shows that we have over one million girls who have gone back to school.

“The guide has been on a combination of series of intervention result that runs on three output areas under which we have been able to come up with different initiatives.

“These initiatives are mostly dressing norms and cash transfer programme, where we are able to ensure that it is used to address the constraint that keeps them out of school.”

She further said, “we also ensure enrolment drive to address behaviours and socio-cultural norms that also affect a girl’s enrolment in school.

“Others are, girls-for-girls already in school. While enrolment drive brings those out of school back to school, the girls-for-girls supports girls with life skills.

“It also supports them in skills that will enhance self consciousness and help them appreciate the need to stay in school and build them as peer mobilisers who reach out to others.”

Menkiti noted that the technical team had come up with clear intervention and processes that had worked for them and how they think it can sustain bringing those out of school back to school.

She added that the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba the Chairman of the National Steering Committee had adopted all recommendations made.

She stressed that Nwajiuba charged all stakeholders involved in the process not to allow plans made by the steering committee be in vain.

Menkiti, added that Nwajiuba callied on government at all levels to ensure the success of the intervention was scaled up and mainstreamed into a different state and national educational plans.(NAN)

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