UNICEF to enrol 4,000 out-of-school girls in Katsina

Through its Reaching and Empowering Adolescent females in North-West Nigeria (REACH) programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has started enrolling 4,000 out-of-school adolescent females in Katsina State schools.

The programme is being carried out in the state’s local government areas of Rimi, Mani, and Katsina and is supported by UNICEF in partnership with the Katsina State Department of Girl Child Education and Child Development.

The UNICEF Focal Person in the Department, Mr. Kabir Nadada, who disclosed this yesterday in an interview said the UN agency has so far returned 1,393 out-of-school adolescent girls to classrooms in the three local governments.

He said UNICEF had also flagged off the distribution of back-to-school kits such as uniforms,writing materials, bags and shoes to the 1,393 enrollees in the three selected LGAs to ensure their retention and completion of schools.

At the conclusion of the six-month REACH initiative, 4,000 out-of-school adolescent girls in Mani, Katsina, and Rimi local government areas would have access to formal education and be equipped with life and career skills.

According to Nadada, the integrated adolescent girls programme is also strengthening the ability of recognised community-based organisations, including women’s groups, community-based organisations (CBOs), surveillance groups, and school-based management committees (SBMCs), to support prevention and responses to child marriage and sexual violence.

He said: “REACH plans to enrol at least 4,000 out-of-school adolescent girls to schools and provide services to them in Rimi, Katsina and Mani LGAs through partnership with CSOs that supported the government to document the out-of-school children.

“We are also engaging communities through dialogues with intent to improve knowledge on the dangers of child marriage and work towards attitudinal change reduction on the norms using SBC methods.”

He reaffirmed that community dialogues and community-based structures backed by Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) interventions through mentorship would reach 40,000 community members, women, girls, and boys.

Earlier, Armaya’u Abdulhamid, the secretary of the Katsina Budget Awareness Initiative (KBAI), announced that 300 out-of-school girls had been registered in Rimi Local Government Area schools.

He clarified that 211 of the 300 enrollees were enrolled in local government primary schools and 89 in junior secondary schools.