THE UNICEF-sponsored Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) has facilitated the return of about 6,207 children to school in Zamfara, the state Coordinator, Maryam Shantali, has said.
Shantali made this known in Sokoto on Wednesday at a two-day Media Dialogue on Educate-A-Child (EAC) CTP in Northern Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UNICEF, in 2014, introduced the CTP in the northern states to increase enrolment of children in schools.
The project focuses on meeting the needs of the poor in the northern communities as well as encouraging children to go to school.
The project also targets caregivers, especially mothers, with the promise of sending their children to schools.
She said that the EAC project targeted both boys and girls unlike the first UNICEF project (GEP3) which focused on only the girl child.
Shantali noted that the first phase of the project would be implemented in three local government areas of the state regarded as the poorest communities and reach out to other local areas before its expiration.
According to her, each of the children has been paid N8,000 to enable them to develop interest in going to school.
“We have selected 14 communities from three local government areas of the state which are the worst in terms of out-of-school children, access road to school and security.
“So, Zamfara has concluded the first phase of 6,209 beneficiaries and has been paid N8,000 per child both boys and girls.
“Out of this number, 1,272 females have benefitted so far, which shows that attention has also been given to boys education in the UNICEF project.”
On the challenges encountered in the implementation of the project, she said most women refused to enrol their children at the initial stage.
However, she explained that massive sensitisation and mobilisation techniques had helped in providing solutions to some of the problems encountered in the project.
She said many women who had refused to key into the project were now coming for their children’s enrolmentafter seeing the disbursement of fund to beneficiaries in the first phase.
Meanwhile, Mr Isa Umar, the Project Implementor in Kebbi, said the state was targeting 30,000 children from nine local government areas.
According to him, the state is presently projecting about 10,000 beneficiaries from three local government areas.
Umar said the state had received N250,000 as subvention from UNICEF to fund the project in the schools.
He said the state was able to learn from the challenges in the first UNICEF project.
Umar explained that the state had also sensitised head teachers, religious leaders, teachers, community leaders and women on the need to return children to schools.
He said the sensitisation programme had been helpful in the CTP and as such, many women had brought their children to school.
Outside the CTP, Umar said UNICEF had also assisted 504 Islamic schools and 400 government primary schools in the training their teachers and the provision of teaching materials. (NAN)
– May 16, 2018 @ 18:45 GMT |