By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Emir of Bauchi, Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu has applauded the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and other partners for their ability in supporting Bauchi state in the area of Healthcare and Education development and growth
He made the commendation when GEP-3 Program under UNICEF paid him an advocacy on High Level Advocacy/ Endorsement with Stakeholders and the Emirate Councils on the Establishment of Local Accountability Systems for the Sustainability of GEP 3 in Bauchi State.
Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu who is the Chairman, Bauchi State Traditional Council noted that girl child education is very important to the development of the society because according to him, a well-educated girl child is a pride to the society.
The Emir who join the GEP campaign, praised the program as implemented by UNICEF and other stakeholders in the education sector expressing optimism that the program will change the narrative of girl child education in the state.
He assured that the traditional institution in the state is ever ready to support any program that brings positive impact on the lives of people of the state because, according to him, the educational gap must be bridged.
GEP3 is an eight-year project (2012–2020) that seeks to ensure that more girls complete basic education and acquire skills for life and livelihood in five northern Nigerian states of Katsina, Sokoto, Bauchi, Niger and Zamfara.
The project is managed by UNICEF, in partnership with federal and state governments, and is funded by FCDO with the sole aim of improving access, retention and learning outcomes for girls.
GEP3 is implemented by UNICEF and Bauchi State Government and the partners are the ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board, Agency for Mass Education, Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs), and College of Education.
GEP3 also works closely with civil society organizations such as High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA). GEP3 is implemented in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) Alkaleri, Shira, Ningi, Ganjuwa Zaki and Toro.
It is believed that as at the end of 2020 the Girls Education Program (GEP 3) has succeeded in getting approximately 214,758 additional girls into school in Bauchi state, a feat that was achieved as results from various intervention showed.
With this development, Girls’ enrolment has reached 1,130,465 (965,890 Primary; 164,575 IQS) through GEP3 while 4,581 girls and 4,540 boys are participating in the G4G/HeForShe activities across 6 LGAs, empowering them to use their platforms to enhance peer support and create demand for education in their various communities.
Also, 11,520 teachers and IQS facilitators have core knowledge and competencies to use proven teaching methodologies to deliver appropriate quality education through GEP 3 while
11,270 (1,727 females) Principals, Head teachers have enhanced capacity on school record keeping and have provided valid school data through which 8 Annual School Census has been conducted, disseminated and published from 2012 – 2020.
Goodwill Message to the meeting by Dr. Zigeh Icunoamlak, Officer in Charge (OIC) of UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, said that 12 focus LGAs have developed Local Education Sector Operational Plan to align with the state Education Sector Plan.
Accordingly, the UNICEF Nigeria Chief said improved planning at the LGEA level is expected to contribute to achieving equitable distribution of resources based on evidence, while 1,040 SBMCs and CBMCs have been trained on their roles and responsibilities.
The SBMCs and CBMCs, he submitted, have developed school improvement; 11,018 (3,258 females) members improved skills on teamwork, community mobilization and how to prioritize interest of the girl child in schools.
Icunoamlak explained that Based on the identified barriers and bottlenecks to girl’s education, GEP3 Theory of Change, and interventions were planned to reduce these barriers and to deliver results under three outputs:
These, he stated, were in addition to increased enrolment and retention for girls in basic education, Improved capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning for girls and Improved governance to strengthen girls’ education
He said, “With the Project coming to an end on 30 June 2021, it become very important to identify the lessons learnt and good practices from the GEP3 to ensure the gains are not lost”.
“The reason for this gathering today is to get the commitment and endorsement of the Emirate Council with stakeholders on establishment of local accountability systems for the sustainability of GEP 3 in Bauchi State”.
Dr. Zigeh Icunoamlak further state, “I assure you that UNICEF is committed to sustaining support to Nigerian government at the federal and state levels to ensure quality education and development of children”.
UNICEF commended everyone for the support to education and reiterates its commitment to continue to partner with the government, partners and all stakeholders to ensure that all school-aged children in Nigeria access their right to quality education.