UNICEF GEP3 ’ll bring additional 1m girls to school by 2020

Funmi Lawrence



The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) says the Girls Education Project in six participating states will bring an additional one million girls to school by 2020.


Mr Richard Akanet, Kano State UNICEF Coordinator of the project, made the disclosure on Tuesday at a two-Day Media Dialogue on School Based Management Committee (SBMC) in Kano.


The project, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), is expected to span through eight years from 2012 to 2020, aimed at contributing to improving the social and economic opportunity for girls.


Akanet, presenting the overview on the GEP3 project in the participating states- Bauchi, Zamfara, Kastina, Niger, Sokoto and Kano, said the project had integrated Quranic education into the formal education.


He said that the SBMC was a national strategy which was employed to get school age girls to school without neglecting the boys’ enrollment.


Akanet said that the SBMC had been able to incorporate a huge number of Quranic schools into the formal education.


He said each school has one SBMC which focus on the need of the school improvement, planning as well as improving enrollment and reducing out of school children.


According to him, target of the project is to ensure more girls in the targeted states in Northern Nigeria complete basic education, while also acquiring skills for life and livelihood.


“GEP3 has achieved a lot, especially in building the capacity of SBMCs and this allows them to prioritise the needs of their schools.


“With advocacy, we are now able to convince the Quranic schools to integrate their schools into the formal education and Quranic schools have now been integrated into the formal education.


“The work that takes place in Quranic schools under the GEP 3 is for the schools to be controlled by the state mechanism.


“We have also inculcated the core subjects to match the Islamic education. The out-of-school children have now been integrated,” he said.


Akanet also explained that the GEP 3 SBMC initiative had created 1,539 female teachers in Kano State to ease learning outcome.


He also said that by 2020, 1.6 million girls would be reached by improved teaching and girls-friendly learning environment.


The UNICEF coordinator said that by the target year, 42,000 primary and Quranic school teachers would have also been trained and mentored in child centre pedagogy.


He added that the expected result of the initiative was to ensure that 15,300 head teachers would have been trained in school effectiveness, efficiency and curriculum management.


“The programme is not focussing on girls alone, but also to make sure that by 2020, an approximate 1.9 million boys will also benefit from the GEP 3 investment through improvement to teachers quality and school governance,” Akanet said.


Also, Mr Muntaka Muktar, UNICEF Education Specialist in Kano, said that the Integrated Quranic Schools had been introduced in the state to afford children the opportunities to have formal education.


Muktar said the Quranic schools afforded children to learn within their environment, while the core subjects had been integrated into the schools.


“The integration of core subjects like Mathematics, English and others into the Quranic schools will enable children to have the opportunity to read.


“After learning from the Quranic schools, they can now mainstream it to any public school close to them,” he said.

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