The Federal Government has inaugurated the national steering committee of the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project to improve learning outcomes of the girls child.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman while inaugurating the committee in Abuja on Tuesday, charged the committee members and state chapter on the sustainability of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project which is a credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to the Federal Government, is implemented in selected seven states.
The states are Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Plateau, with a project cost of 500m dollars.
The committee inaugurated comprised executive secretaries from SUBEB, Commissioners of Education from 18 states and relevant Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
According to Mamman, one of the major challenges we have is taking the millions out-of-school children off the street.
“If we can register success in the 18 states, we will be half way through in reducing the number of out-of-school children in the country.
“We need to scale up what we have to reach other states. The project has assisted us in a template we can adopt to work out deliverables in reducing the number of out-of-school children,” he said.
Also, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu said the inauguration was aimed at creating system reforms for expansion of access and provision of financial incentives for the girl child.
While urging the commissioners of education to make use of the available resources judiciously, Sununu also explained that the federal ministry of education had done a lot towards improving learning outcomes.
In the same vein, the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the bank is passionate about the project as it would give the girl child the opportunities to contribute to their families, communities and the nation.
Chaudhuri said efficient deliverables of the project would yield increased investment in girl-child education by the world bank.
Meanwhile, the Project Coordinator, Hajia Amina Haruna, said the project was put in place to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted areas in the seven participating states.
Haruna called for commitment of state government to recruit qualified teachers for proper impact of the project.
“Over 2.4 million beneficiaries reached across the seven states reached. More than 1,341,821 adolescent girls have so far been reached.
“Over 7,967 non functional classrooms renovated and in use in the seven states. 84,567 teaching and learning materials to schools and in use,” she said.
She added that the federal government and the World Bank had finalised agreement for 11 additional financing states to join the initial seven pilot states.
She listed the states as Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, saying that additional project cost of 700m dollars had been approved