By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
About 8,000 adolescent girls have received between N20,000 and N35,000 each under the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Kaduna State Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Programme (AGILE).
The programme, geared towards creating a conducive atmosphere of learning and improving girl child enrollment in public schools across Kaduna State, has also commenced the rehabilitation of 150 junior and senior secondary schools in the state.
Maryam Sani Dangaji, the Coordinator of the Programme in the state, made the declaration on Thursday, when she led other staff of the project for an advocacy visit to traditional, religious and community leaders in Southern Kaduna.
The AGILE Project which is a World Bank supported project being implemented under the State Ministry of Education, is expected to last five years.
Speaking through the Component 2.1 Lead (Social Norms) of the project, Haj. Hadiza Hayatuddeen, the State AGILE coordinator, explained that the project targets adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19 with the view to ensure they are empowered.
Haj. Dangaji appealed to the traditional and religious leaders to assist in sensitizing and encouraging their people who drop out of secondary school, especially the girl child, to go back and enroll so as to benefit from the scholarship and skills empowerment components of the project in the state.
Hajiya Zainab Lukat, the Technical Assistant AGILE, stated that aside the renovation of150 schools in the first phase, the project would renovate additional 400 schools in subsequent phases to cover the 550 public secondary schools across Kaduna state.
She explained that since the focus of the project is to encourage enrollment among girls, the project has reserved 70% for girls, while the remaining 30% has been reserved for less privileged boys and those with disability.
Various speakers who spoke during the advocacy visit in all the local government areas visited, lauded the state government through the AGILE Project for initiating the program and pledged to contribute their quota by mobilizing and encouraging more out of school children to take advantage of the opportunity.
They also advocated the setting up of AGILE Ambassadors in every benefiting community so that they can independently monitor progress of the programme.