In efforts to improve senior secondary education and empowerment opportunities for adolescent girls in their respective domains, 11 State Governments have indicated interest to participate in the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, (AGILE), Project, a World Bank-assisted Project of the Federal Government.
To cater for the additional states, the Federal Government is also in the process of boosting the $500 million-AGILE Project with additional funds of $700 million, totalling $1.2 billion thereby making it one of the biggest World Bank-sponsored gender-focused projects in West Africa.
In view of the foregoing, the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the World Bank, recently in Abuja, held a consultative meeting with the proposed states to deliberate on modalities to participate in the AGILE Project and benefit from the additional funding.
In the meeting were members of the National Project Coordinating Unit led by the National Project Coordinator, Mrs. Amina Buba Haruna, representatives of the World Bank, State Commissioners for Education, Chairs of the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), and Permanent Secretaries, State Ministries of Education.
The consultative meeting also served as an avenue for the National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU), and World Bank officials to enlighten the proposed additional states on the AGILE Project in terms of its objectives, and achievements recorded, thus far, in the current implementing states of Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, and Plateau.
They were also enlightened on the eligibility criteria to participate in the Project.
In her remarks, Director, Senior Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, expressed delight at the additional funding of the Project, which she stressed was motivated by the successes recorded in the current implementing states, especially in the utilisation of the School Improvement Grants, and Conditional Cash Transfer, (CCT)/ Scholarship.
The Director, who represented the Hon. Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, urged the intending states to put the necessary measures in place to qualify to participate in the Project.
The AGILE Project’s Task Team Lead, Aisha Garba, presented an overview of the project and enlightened the states on the requirements to participate in the Project.
She also emphasised the need for the anticipated states to evolve more enabling policies for senior secondary education in their respective territories.
In her presentation, the National Project Coordinator, (AGILE), gave a brief of the project’s implementation at the Federal and State levels.
She urged the proposed states to put all the necessary measures in place to meet the criteria to participate and benefit from the AGILE Project, as it was an opportunity for them to improve the lives of adolescent girls in their localities.
The Hon. Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Yobe State, Dr. Muhammad Sani Idris, bemoaned the lack of adequate advocacy on girl-child education in the Northern region of the country.
While pledging the commitment of his State Government to put the necessary measures to qualify to participate in the AGILE Project, Dr. Idris also called for more efforts to be put into promoting the cause of Girl-Child education in the region.
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