The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has given out N332,832,000 to over 20,000 out-of-school children in Katsina State as part of its cash transfer programme to provide learning opportunities and improve the socio-economic well-being of beneficiaries.
The programme funded by the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) of Qatar under its Educate A Child (EAC) programme implemented by UNICEF in Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi and the Sokoto states, is aimed at increasing the enrollment of children in schools.
The beneficiaries are children out of school and almajiris in Kafur, Mani and Safana local government areas of the state. Katsina State has over 536,132 out-of-school children and each female parent/caregiver would receive N8, 000 per tranche twice in 2022, amounting to N16, 000 per beneficiary.
Already, 50 clerics of Tsangaya schools in three local government areas have been trained on safeguarding and keeping children from violence and abuse in their facilities.
Speaking at the launch, the Kano field officer, Mr Rahama Mohammed Farah, 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 and urged the government to continue to build on these interventions to ensure that every school-age child is in school and learning.
He noted that the cash transfer programme was being delivered with the birth registration programme which has so far seen the registration of 20, 400 children, adding that social workers would be equipped with the required skills to track and reunify children living on the street or similar situations with their families, ensuring family-based care for children.
He said: “We are thankful to our partners, the Educate A Child Project, for funds for the cash transfer programme in Katsina. 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.”
The Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari thanked UNICEF and other partners for ensuring the positive impact of the scheme in the state, assuring that his government would continue to support the enrollment of children in schools.