• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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FG, World Bank enrol over 3m girls in schools

Menstrual health, others take centre stage at International Day of the Girl Child in Akwa Ibom

The Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank has enrolled over three million girls in secondary school, under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE).

AGILE is a World Bank-assisted project geared toward improving secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls aged between 10 and 20 years. It is currently running in Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Plateau and Katsina states.

Amina Haruna, the national project coordinator of AGILE, speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, during the launch of a campaign programme titled “Madubi,” a Hausa word which means ‘mirror’, said the AGILE initiative has renovated over 5,000 classrooms.

She explained that the campaign was targeted at raising awareness for girl-child education in Nigeria as well as demand for accountability on policies, commitments, and officials towards girls’ education.

“The Madubi is a national campaign that we want to advocate more on the outside society to know the importance of girl child education in Nigeria, that is why we adopt this word from Hausa because it is a mirror. That girl in a mirror is you, me and us.

Read also: EKSG reiterates commitment on girl child education

“More than three million have been adopted so far under AGILE project. We have renovated about 5000 class rooms. We are now going on construction, then we have financial incentives where it will allow these girls to retain them to schools.

“We have financial incentives for beneficiaries and care givers also.

Most of the states are going to join the project in June, about eleven states. The present states implementing this are Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi and Katsina, then Plateau,” she added.

The project coordinator also said that 11 more states will join the AGILE project in Nigeria by June 2023, such as Adamawa, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara and others.

Khadiyat Bello, who spoke on behalf of Madubi, said that Nigeria was faced with a gender learning crisis, noting that 60 percent of the out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls and less than 30 percent of primary school girls transition to secondary school.

“Adolescence is a critical stage in human development; more so for girls. After the early years, adolescence and secondary education are the periods most capable of influencing the kind of woman and humans that they turn to become.

“AGILE is one intervention tackling multi-sectoral issues, it addresses the concerns on the demand and supply ends of the education divide.

“It addresses the issues of access and capacity, providing financial scholarships and conditional cash transfers to send girls to school,” she said.