Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
To reduce the out-of-school rate and encourage girl child education for development, the Bauchi government has identified 16,260 girls in junior and senior secondary schools across the state who will enjoy a conditional cash transfer to motivate them to attend classes and graduate under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.
The Project Coordinator of AGILE in Bauchi, Dr. Jamila Dahiru, recently disclosed this at a breakfast meeting with media executives in her office.
Dahiru, the education commissioner, explained that girls in JSS 1-3 will receive N5,000 each, while those in SS 1-3 will receive N10,000 every term to encourage them to always return to school until graduation.
She also explained that there would be a digital education programme to empower them with a skill that will be useful to them in the future.
According to her, the project is to assist students who have dropped out of school due to economic issues to have the chance to go back to school and complete the second stage of education.
Jamila Dahiru, however, stressed that the target is the poorest of the poor who do not have any means of payment for school fees and other requirements. She said a mechanism was established to determine those who will qualify.
The AGILE project coordinator explained that the set objective would be achieved under the first component of the project, which is ‘Safe and accessible learning spaces’ comprising new space learning in Secondary schools, improving existing infrastructure (school improvement), teachers recruitment and employment for new schools.
The second component focuses on fostering an enabling environment for girls by promoting behavioural change through communication campaigns, engagement with traditional rulers and advocacy, providing girls with critical life skills and knowledge for navigating adulthood and digital literacy at all learning platforms, as well as providing financial support to poor households under the conditional cash transfer.
She added that the project’s third component is system strengthening and project management, where the state’s Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) team must be very active, including the technical and community, through the School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) for the implementation of the project.