The Kaduna State government, on Monday said it had built 155 new secondary schools under the World Bank-supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) Project.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe stated this in Kaduna at the opening of a training for 2,000 out of the 7,600 newly recruited teachers deployed to the schools by the state government .
Balarabe, who is currently the acting governor of the state, said that girls constitute about half of the population of children in the state, adding, however, that their enrolment and completion rate in school had remained very low.
She attributed the challenges to cultural factors that promote the boy-child education and relegates the girl-child in society as well as general factors that constrict the opportunities of the girl-child.
“These include limited number of schools, inadequate access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, poor education infrastructure, high cost of private schools, and many others.
“For us as a government, our responses to the constraints that confront girl-child education include a comprehensive approach to the problem of education in the state and completion rates in schools,” she said.
The Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Halima Lawal, explained that the AGILE project was designed to provide secondary school education opportunities for more than two million girls in Kaduna state.
Lawal said that the AGILE project specifically aims at improving secondary education opportunities among adolescent girls using comprehensive approaches to address constraints they face in attending or completing secondary school.
“These approaches consist of interventions aimed at keeping girls in school while providing opportunities for them to acquire critical life skills which empower them to enrol, stay and complete schooling.
“The project also supports improving existing infrastructure in secondary schools to accommodate increases in girls’ enrolment and transition into secondary schools.
“This is done by making schools safer, more accessible, inclusive, and conducive for teaching and learning.
“The project also promotes girls’ empowerment through the provision of life skills knowledge including digital skills to help adolescent girls navigate to adulthood.
“Financial support through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) are also provided to the poorest households to enable their girls to attend and complete school. “
The commissioner said that so far, the project has supported the renovation of 167 classes, construction of 607 new classes and renovation of 106 WASH facilities in 550 schools.
She said that 52 solar-powered boreholes have been drilled and 34 existing ones have been renovated, adding that 8,273 sets of furniture have been fabricated.
She also said that 7,013 girls have been registered for Conditional Cash Transfers, out of which 6,566 girls have received payments amounting to over N78 million.
Speaking at the programme, the Project Coordinator, Mrs Maryam Dangaji, said that the training of the teachers was on basic leadership skills, teaching methods and strategies.
According to her, the training is to arm them with requisite skills that would enable them to impact the needed knowledge on the girls.
She added that the teachers would be trained across the three Senatorial zones in the next seven days.