Home News EU, UNICEF to enrol 1.5m children, youths in Northwest Nigeria

EU, UNICEF to enrol 1.5m children, youths in Northwest Nigeria

by Haruna Gimba

By Muhammad Amaan

The European Union (EU), in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has pledged to enrol and skill 1.5 million children, youths and adolescents in Jigawa, Katsina and Kano states in Northwest Nigeria.

Michael Banda, Senior Education Manager, UNICEF, Kano Field Office, made the pledge at a multi-sectoral key stakeholder meeting on education and youths empowerment project on Wednesday in Kano.

He said that the programme was aimed at increasing the number of girls and boys benefiting from safe, inclusive, relevant learning and skills development opportunities in Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto states.

Banda said the four-year programme which commenced from October 2023 to August 2027, would cover Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto states.

“The programme operation is categorised into three main outputs involving strengthened education governance and learning, expanded access to safe and inclusive learning environment and giving quality, continuous learning and enhanced competencies.”

The education manager pointed out that in Nigeria, many children between seven and 14 could not read or write simple sentence.

“Our aim is for them to get skill that will make them competitive, marketable and self-sustaining, to start a business.

“We are also looking at Integrated Qur’anic School because we have Qur’anic schools that do an integrated curriculum which includes literacy and numeracy beyond the religious education.

“We are going to catch everyone, including those who do not have space in the formal school,” he said.

Banda said that Kano State had been selected to be one of the top beneficiaries of the newly introduced European Union-funded education and empowerment programme in Nigeria.

According to him, Kano will have the lion share of the project because of its population and the number of out-of-school children.

He said that EU was not only concentrating its resources in Kano, but in Northwest, Northeast and other states in Nigeria.

The UNICEF education manager added that the EU was an all-weather partner for UNICEF and various states in ensuring that all children accessed quality education.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Umar Haruna Doguwa, commended the development partners for the gesture.

He restated the state government’s commitment to invest in education sector.

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