The United Nation Children’s Fund, UNICEF in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Education and the Bauchi State Government has flagged off the Girls for Girls Initiative G4G in 100 schools in Bauchi State.
Speaking at the official launching ceremony of the project at the Government Girls College, Bauchi Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Bauchi, Abdulai Kaikai said the project will focus on Girls Education Project, GEP in 6 Local Government Areas of Alkaleri, Ganjuwa, Ningi, Shira, Toro and Zaki.
According to Kaikai, the project was a component of the Girls Education Project, phase 3 (GEP3), being implemented in Bauchi, Niger, Kastina, Sokoto and Zamfara states through a collaboration with UNICEF and the Federal Government with funding from the United Kingdom Department of International Development, DFID.
“According to UNICEF statistics, the average northern girl only stays in school up to the age of nine and one in 10 girls in northern Nigeria generally completes secondary education. These numbers are staggering and should be considered a threat to national development.”
“In 2011, UNICEF with the financial backing of USAID, initiated the Girls Education Project phase 3 (GEP3). The aim of this project is to get at least 1million girls in Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara enrolled in schools” Kaikai said.
Flagging off the G4G initiative, Governor Mohammed Abubakar said that the project which was a newly introduced initiative established in schools by UNICEF was aimed at increasing girls’ enrollment, retention and completion in schools.
The Governor who was represented by the State Head of Civil Service, Liman Bello, said the project was a step taking in the right direction, geared towards providing girls with a platform to voice issues depriving them from accessing and completing their education.
The Governor said his administration has paid all its counterpart funds in all the activities of UNICEF interventions was willing to support the objective of the project.
In her remarks, the Bauchi State First Lady, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar said GFG Programme will enable the girl child to remain in school as well as attend higher institution.
The First Lady lamented that Bauchi State has the least enrollment of girl child in junior secondary school due to poverty and cultural believe.
She, thereby, calls for on hands to be on deck in support of girl child education to ensure they have brighter future.
“This project is important because I was once a girl and I was opportuned to be educated so we must all join hands together to ensure that the girl child is educated,” she said.
Hajia Abubakar then commended UNICEF and State Ministry of Education for the initiative saying it would go a long way to address illiteracy level for the girl child in the State.