By; KATO p. LADAN, Kaduna
In its bid at ensuring that the Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), project is successful, the Kaduna State Government has commenced training of 2,000 teachers in the state.
The AGILE project is targetted at ensuring secondary school opportunities are available to over two million girls in the state.
Declaring the induction Training for the 2,000 teachers for 255 AGILE New Schools in the state, acting Governor Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe said that projects such as AGILE, are boosting enrolment, retention, and completion of secondary education among adolescent girls.
She said girls have equal rights to safety, education, and health as every other citizen in their respective communities.
” It is my utmost belief that, if these girls are accorded the needed support, they have all the potential to positively impact their families, communities, and the state in general. Empowered girls of today will also become mothers, workers, entrepreneurs, political leaders, lawyers, medical doctors, and academicians in various disciplines of human endeavor,” she said.
She therefore, tasked parents to educate and empower their girl child by enrolling them in schools, noting that the importance of girl child education cannot be overemphasized.
She said all a child girl needs is an opportunity to rise to become a force to reckon with in the future.
In her remarks, the State Commissioner of Education, Hajiya Halima Lawal, AGILE is a World Bank supported project implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education currently in 7 states of the federation including Kaduna State.
She explained that the project, therefore, aims at improving secondary education opportunities among adolescent girls using comprehensive approaches to address constraints they face in attending or completing secondary school.
“The project is working toward ensuring secondary school opportunities are available to over 2 million girls in Kaduna State.
“AGILE’s targeted beneficiaries are adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19 who are generally faced with peculiar challenges which either exclude them from education or prevent them from completing secondary education,” she said.
She said the project has made good progress with the disbursement of small and large grants to 550 schools resulting in the renovation of 167 classes, 607 new ones and the renovation of 106 WASH facilities.
Also 52 solar powered boreholes have been drilled and 34 existing ones have been renovated. In addition, 8,273 sets of furniture have been fabricated whilst 7,013 girls have been registered for Conditional Cash Transfers.
She said as at date, 6,566 girls have received CCT payments amounting to N78, 075, 000.00,” she said.
The commissioner mentioned some of the challenges facing girl child education to include Gender Based Violence (GBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), rape/early marriage.
Others are cost of schooling, cultural indifference for education, the need to support the family by hawking, or other economic child labour on behalf of their families, etc.
In her remarks, the AGILE project coordinator, Maryma Sani DanGaje said the teachers are being trained on the basic of teaching methods and strategies to make them qualify teachers.
She assured that by next year, they hope to offer a refresher training to all the teachers under the AGILE project to keep them up to date, which will enable them to impact positively on the students.