World Bank lends $ 500 million to Katsina, Kano and five others for girls’ education


Nike Popola

The World Bank’s board on Wednesday approved a $ 500 million loan from the International Development Association for the Adolescent Girls’ Learning and Empowerment Initiative to improve educational opportunities secondary school for girls in targeted areas.

The World Bank said the project will support secondary education access and empowerment of adolescent girls in seven states, namely Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti.

The bank said in a statement titled “Nigeria to step up support for keeping teenage girls in school.”

He said adolescent girls face many constraints in accessing and completing secondary education.

In northern Nigeria, he added, the lack of secondary schools was significantly greater with up to 10 primary schools for each secondary school.

He said: “The poor condition of infrastructure and the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities make it difficult for girls to stay in school.

“In addition, nearly 80 percent of poor households are in the north, making it very difficult for them to cover the direct and indirect costs of schooling.

“All of these factors have contributed to limiting the number of girls who have access to secondary school.

“If nothing is done, 1.3 million girls out of the 1.85 million who started primary school in 2017/2018 in the northern states will drop out before reaching the last year of lower secondary.

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The World Bank said the AGILE project would use secondary school as a platform to empower girls through education, life skills, health education (like nutrition, reproductive health), GBV awareness and prevention, negotiation skills, autonomy and digital literacy skills.

He said a minimum of six million girls and boys are expected to benefit from the project and that many other cohorts of students will continue to benefit after the project ends.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri said, “There is no better investment to accelerate the development of human capital in Nigeria than to significantly boost girls’ education.

“The AGILE project will enable Nigeria to make progress in improving access and quality of education for girls, especially in northern Nigeria.

“Tackling the main structural obstacles in a holistic manner will create an enabling environment to help Nigeria secure better outcomes for girls, which will translate into their ability to contribute to productivity and better economic outcomes for themselves.” and the country. ”

Specifically, the project would benefit approximately 6.7 million adolescents and 15.5 million direct beneficiaries of the project would include families and communities in participating states.

The project had also been adapted to respond to COVID-19 and would support a blended learning approach using technology and media (TV and radio) to implement distance and distance learning programs.

The World Bank said the AGILE project would expand existing primary and secondary schools to include both JSS and upper secondary schools to make schools functional, safe and inclusive for teaching and learning.

“This involves the construction of more than 5,500 JSS and 3,300 classrooms for SSS, as well as the improvement of 2,786 junior high schools and 1,914 senior high schools with safe, accessible and accessible infrastructure. inclusive, ”he said.

The bank said about 340,000 girls would receive life skills training in safe spaces, which would help them overcome life’s challenges.

This, he added, would integrate health information and key information on climate change, security and gender-based violence awareness.

To help girls thrive in the digital economy, he added, 300,000 girls would receive digital literacy training.

In addition, he added, the project would provide half a million girls from the poorest households with financial incentives in the form of scholarships to further support their retention and completion of high school.

It would also support awareness to address social norms and promote positive behaviors for a supportive and conducive environment for girls’ education using high level communication and advocacy, he said.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, assists the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low or no interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth. economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor.

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