UNICEF redesigns education project to reduce out-of-school children

By Temitope Mustapha, Kano
Girls Education Project GEP 3, a programme re-designed to increase the number of children in schools in Northern Nigeria is presently recording success in its School Based Management intervention.
UNICEF State Project Cordinator, Richard Sheyin Akanet while presenting an overview of GEP 3 project on six participating States said a two day Media Dialogue organised by UNICEF on School Based Management Committee and Integrated Quranic Tsangaya Education was crucial.
The UNICEF State Cordinator, Richard Sheyin Akanet, stated that School Based Management Committee SBMC, an intervention programme adopted by the governments of Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara,Kano and Niger States now have accountability in reducing the numbers of children not enrolled in schools across the States.
Sheyin Akanet said in Kano State, the SBMC has been able to incorporate a huge number of Islamic Quranic Schools into Formal basic education.
He noted that the SBMC intervention was a deliberate drive to ensure reduction in the numbers of Out of School Children in the States.
According to Sheyin Akanet: “GEP 3 programme is with the aim of improving social and economic opportunities for girls has the mandate of improving the capacity of Islamic teachers and other education facilitators in effective skills and knowledge for teaching.”
Sheyin stated that the SBMC was designed to achieve improved governance in schools and retain girls and good numbers of boys in schools.
He emphasised that by the end of Year 2020 which marks the end of GEP 3, the programme was expected to return one million girls to school, across the six participating States, through its Integrated Quranic Schools.
According to Sheyin, “Gep 3 has achieved alot in building capacity of the School based management Committee, the SBMC plays key roles because they come together for the food of the school ,for the development of the school hence the need to improve their capacities”
“Approximately 1.9boys will also benefit from GEP 3 investment through improvement to teacher quality and school governance”
“42,000  primary schools and IQS teachers would be mentored in child centered pedagogy,  GEP 3 also intend to reach approximately 1.6 million girls through improved and girls friendly learning environment.”
He mentioned that system strengthening which aims at improving the capacity of educational system and outrightly.
Speaking on the new,UNICEF Basic Education Strategy 2019-2030, UNICEF Education Specialist, Muntaka Muktar said the Integrated Quranic School IQS has been identified as an intervention capable of ensuring that all children irrespective of their location in Kano State have the benefit of participating in western education.
He said the newly introduced UNICEF programme, Integrated Quranic School IQS would afford children to be in their immediate learning environment,the natural Quranic environment,” while they infuse western curriculum of mathematics, English language and other core subjects in the IQS programme.
According to Muntaka, Completion rate of primary education in Kano State is 
49percent and numbers of girls transmitting to lower secondary school is 47percent while only 50.4percent of male transits to secondary schools.
“Also only 63.0% completes primary education among only 57.7% are female  and 50.4 percent are male”.
The School Based Management Committee intervention program is a strategy adopted by States governments of Kano,Bauchi,Zamfara, Niger, Katsina and Sokoto States to reduce Out of School children figure and it is supported by the Department For International Development DFID, under the GEP 3 Project.
Lateefah Ibrahim