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Published On: Thu, Jun 19th, 2014

UNICEF calls for collaboration for improved girls’ life

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UNICEFFrom Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

A Specialist on girls’ education has observed that a joint and collaborative undertaking by the federal government, UK’s Department for  International Development (DFID) and United Nation’s Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) initiative has a broad goal of contributing to the improvement of quality life of girls and women in Nigeria.

The Specialist, Hajiya Mairama Dikwa, hinged her observation on the implementation of two phases of Girls Education Project (GEP) of UNICEF between 2005 – 2008, in six states of Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Niger and Sokoto.

Dikwa explained that between 2008 – 2012, the project was also implemented in Sokoto, Bauchi, Katsina and Niger states, hence projects 1 and 2 informed the design of a third phase implemented in five states of Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara.

She told the media interactive session marking the Day of African Child, with the theme: “A Friendly, Free and Compulsory Quality Education for all Children in DFO states”, held in Bauchi on Wednesday, that concerted efforts were being made to bring more girls to school.

The project, she said, provides the girls with quality, practical, and useful education for long term investment and positive spinoffs by reducing poverty, improving nutrition and ill-health and preventing communicable diseases.

Dikwa revealed that the project gamut has, in Bauchi, the political commitment of the state government to co-finance the GEP 3, spanning from 2012 – 2020, with the sum of N2.7 billion, with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect already signed.

The Specialist however, expressed regret that since April 2012, when the MoU was signed between Governor Isa Yuguda and UNICEF, to date, there isn’t any release of fund to augment the implementation of the third phase of the Girls Education Project (GEP).

The Day of African Child (DAC) is being celebrated on June 16 every year in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa.

 The protests contributed greatly to the eventual collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

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