UNICEF Completes Girls Education Project 3 In Nigeria

The Girls Education Project phase 3 has ended in Nigeria with a call on government at all levels to adopt models and replicate interventions and employ strategic approaches towards the success of the project.

The Project which initially targeted One million enrolment of girls in it first and second phase has now successfully recorded a total enrollment of 1.5m girls in schools across Niger, Bauchi, Sokoto,Zamfara,Kano and Katsina States.

Speaking at the national closing ceremony of GEP 3 Project in Abuja, UNICEF Country Representative, Cristian Munduate advocated scaling up of the diverse approach in all states of the nation.

According to Munduate, GEP 3 has improved learning outcomes, raised the profile of educated girls, created new positive social norms in many communities and enabled a transformational shift in mindsets about the importance of girls’ education.

She disclosed that the attendance rate of girls in primary schools in the six states improved from 43% to 70%, while gender parity improved from 0.73 to 0.97.

“GEP3 has not only been successful in getting more girls into formal and non-formal schools, but it has also improved learning outcomes. GEP3 has raised the profile of educated girls, created new positive social norms in many communities and enabled a transformational shift in mindsets about the importance of girls’ education.”

“It is critical that we advocate scaling of the approach in all states,” UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.”

Teachers Capacity
According to Saadhna Panday, UNICEF Chief of Education, GEP3 has built the capacity of Head teachers and teachers in the management of schools as well as delivery of effective learning for girls.

Panday disclosed that GEP3’s unconditional cash transfer programme supported over 23,500 girls and reduced the level of poverty in the household thereby enabling families to send girls to school and enhanced the ability of women to generate additional domestic income.

“Community-based structures like Mothers’ Association, School Based Management Committees, and the High-level Women Advocates have been established as enduring platforms for community mobilization, mentorship and policy advocacy on girls’ education.”

Nigerian Government’s Commitment
Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu pledged the country’s commitment to leverage on the success of GEP3 to plan better, budget better, and make better decisions in putting more Girl- Child in schools.

“GEP3 worked to improve the quality of education for all children and helped girls gain better access to education and economic opportunities, breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.”

“In our commitment to drastically reduce the number of Out of School Children, Nigeria appreciates the scaling of evidence-based solution in tackling this menace as provided through the GEP3″ Adamu said.

Commissioner for Education Nigeria state, Hanatu Jubril said the state has set mechanisms in place to facilitate sustainability of the projects.

A beneficiary of the GEP 3 Project ,Mariam Samani, a J.S 3 student of Dan maga secondary school Danbatta ,Kano State, said the project has boost education of girls in her school.

” I learnt alot from the G4G initiatives of the GEP 3 project,I learnt how to take care of myself as a girl and how to speak out when there is violence.”

GEP 3 now encourage more girls to go to school in rural areas,it is reducing the underage marriage because the Mothers Association now speak with mother’s of these girls in rural areas they tell them importance of education.

He For She Advocate
Ayatou Abdullahi, a Junior secondary school of Government secondary school Katsina said GEP 3 project has exposed him to girls education.

Abdullahi said the he for she program of GEP 3 has taught the boys to protect the girls from any harassment in schools and to encourage more girls to be enrolled.

“We go to school together with the girls in our area to protect them from any harassment.”

The Girls Education Project was initiated in 2012 and ended in November 2022. The project was jointly sponsored by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK (FCDO) UNICEF and supported by the government of Nigeria.

The project was funded with the sum of 109million dollars and it went through three phases.

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