Nigeria launches $100m education project

Temitope Mustapha,Abuja.

Tony Anwuka

The Nigerian government has launched a $100m project to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country.

Launching the project in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education ,Professor Anthony Anwuka said the project would improve access and quality in basic schools across Nigeria.

Professor Anwuka, who said that the project would commence in five states of Northwest Nigeria, disclosed that the Global Partnership for Education ,GPE provided the grant to assist Nigeria get all out of school children back to school.

“The Nigerian Partnership for Education Project is the Nigerian version of Global Partnership for Education launched in 2012 to help developing countries achieve Universal Basic Education for all.

 The project, which is in about 59 other developing countries of the world is to reduce numbers of out of school children and specifically in Nigeria is to improve girl child participation in basic education system.”

The Minister who hinted that the Northwest geo political zone have the highest number of Out of School Children before Insurgency added that the programme will improve access and quality of basic education in the five focal pilot States of Kano,Sokoto,Jigawa,Kaduna and Katsina.

He emphasized that Education remains the cornerstone of the Change Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari adding that the $100m grant is a catalyst to boost basic education.

Speaking on the grant, Mr Olatunde Kolawole of the World Bank who spoke on behalf of international development partners, said all development partners would sensitize Nigerians on the delivery process of the program.

Kolawole stated that the 100 million dollar grant is from the Global Partnership for Education, out of which he said 95 million dollars will be approved for the five states, while the remaining 5 million dollars will be domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Education.

“The project will award scholarships to girls who are out of school and also focus on access for the girl child education.”

The World Bank Representative added that the programme will improve Girls participation in Nigeria basic schools.

Speaking on behalf of the state governments of Kano, Jigawa,Kaduna,Katsina and Sokoto, Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state pledged the readiness of the states to work with the committee on implementation of the programme.

He expressed concern about the numbers of Out Of School Children, prevalent in Northern Nigeria, saying that the governments of the five states will ensure long lasting legacies in basic education in Northwestern Nigeria.

A National Steering Committee on the Nigerian Partnership for education was also launched and is chaired by the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwuka.

The theme of the programme is : Improving Access and quality of basic education with emphasis on Girls Education.