The Katsina State Government and the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) have launched a cash transfer programme which will provide learning opportunities for over 20,000 out-of-school children in the state and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of beneficiaries and their households.
According to available statistics, there are currently 536,132 out-of-school children in Katsina State.
Launching the cash transfer programme which will provide access to learning for the beneficiaries and help reduce the number of 536,132 children currently out of school in Katsina State, the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said “the partnership between Katsina State Government and UNICEF has yielded many positive results, not just in the education sector, but in other sectors of the state,”
He further said that the Katsina state government was “grateful to UNICEF and the Educate A Child (EAC) project for the funds”, adding that “the Programme Implementation Unit for the cash transfer programme will monitor the programme closely and ensure that the beneficiaries make judicious use of the resources.”
Through the cash transfer programme, a total of ₦332,832,000 will be disbursed to 20,802 out-of-school children (OOSC) and Almajiris in Kafur, Mani and Safana LGAs of Katsina State. The funds will be disbursed through 10,557 female parents/caregivers to increase school enrolment and attendance rates for boys and girls.
Theuniononline.com gathered that each female parent/caregiver will receive N8,000 per tranche twice in 2022, amounting to N16,000 per beneficiary.
The cash transfer programme will also ensure that beneficiaries are enrolled and retained in any form of organized school, including Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) and provided with literacy and numeracy skills linked to employability and livelihood schemes.
The cash transfer programme is being delivered together with the birth registration programme which has so far seen the registration of 20,400 children. Social workers will be equipped with the required skills to track and reunify children living on the street or in similar situations with their families, thereby ensuring family-based care for children. Already, 50 Mallams of Tsangaya schools in three LGAs have been trained on safeguarding and keeping children safe from violence and abuse in their facilities.
Commenting on the programme, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said, “We are thankful to our partners, the Educate A Child Project, for funds for the cash transfer programme in Katsina State. The take-off of the cash transfer programme provides the opportunity to take children off the streets back to the classrooms where every school-age child should be. We urge the government to continue to build on these interventions to ensure that every school-age child is in school and learning.”
“UNICEF is excited that with this launch, we’ll be addressing the important issues of not just access to education, but the quality of learning as we focus on literacy and numeracy skills to build the foundation for employability and livelihood skills,” said Hawkins.