By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The Federal Government has enrolled three million girls in secondary schools across the country through the Adolescent Girls Initiative For Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) programme.
The National Project Coordinator, Mrs Amina Haruna disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at the launch of a National Campaign , tagged ‘Madubi’, to boost the enrollment of girls in school and reduce the number of the out-of-school children.
AGILE, which is a federal government initiative in partnership with the World Bank, is currently running in Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Plateau and Katsina States.
The campaign, targeted at increasing enrolment and retention among girls as well as improve secondary education of girls in the focal states.
”The Madubi is a national campaign we want to advocate for the outside society on the importance of girl-child education that is why we are adopting this, and it means a mirror of a child..
”Three million children have been enrolled in the project, we have renovated over 5,000 classrooms and we are now going on constructions of classrooms.
”We also have the financial incentives where it will allow retention of girls in school as well as financial incentives for beneficiaries and caregivers,” she said.
Haruna added that 11 other states would be joining the seven participating states in June to further give more girls access to education.
Meanwhile, Khadiyat Bello, an official of the campaign noted that there was need to influence the girls and women potential in the society at large, hence the need for the project.
Bello said that Nigeria was faced with gender learning crisis as 60 per cent of the out-of-school children were girls and less than 30 per cent of primary school girls transit to secondary school.
This, she said, affected enrolment, retention and completion rate of the girl-child.
She said there was need to acknowledge the role of females as multipliers of society and the first point of contact in learning.
”Our future is a mirror of the opportunities afforded to the girl child today.
”Education is ‘Madubi’, a mirror or looking glass through which we can view not just a reflection of the girl child’s potential but that of the entire society.
”Adolescence is a critical stage in human development, more so for girls. After early years, adolescent 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 education divide.
”It addresses the issues of access and capacity, providing financial scholarships and conditional cash transfer to send girls to school,” she said.
She urged stakeholders to ensure that all girls were educated to project the society in a good light.