1.5m girls enrolled in 6 Northern states in 10 years – Report


According to the report presented in Kaduna State, over the past decade, a significant number of 1.5 million girls have been enrolled in schools across six Northern states as part of the Girls Education Project Phase III (GEP3). The project aims to enhance girls’ access to quality education and promote their retention and completion rates. The evaluation report highlights the positive impact of the project in increasing girls’ enrollment and underscores the importance of ongoing efforts to address gender disparities in education.

The Girls Education Project Phase III (GEP3) was initiated in 2012 and concluded in 2022 with the objective of reaching one million girls. However, the project exceeded its target and reached over 1.5 million girls across households in the Northern states of Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kano. The project was funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK, through UNICEF, and implemented by the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria.

Key findings from the evaluation report include the following:

  • 23,655 girls benefited from the cash transfer program, which aimed to support their education.
  • More than 67,000 teachers and facilitators from Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) were trained, resulting in improved teaching competency from 12% to 52%.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, 2.6 million children continued their education through alternate learning methods, and a back-to-school campaign facilitated the return of 94% of children to school across 18,567 schools.
  • Over 3,800 schools and IQS implemented the Reading and Numeracy Activity (RANA), leading to improvements in foundational literacy.
  • The functionality of Schools Based Management Committees (SBMC) and Community Based Management Committees (CBMCs) increased from 30% to 80%, along with the development of whole school plans.

These findings highlight the positive impact of GEP3 in improving access, retention, and learning outcomes for girls in basic education in the targeted Northern states. The project’s focus on cash transfers, teacher training, alternate learning methods, and community involvement contributed to its success in promoting girls’ education.

During the dissemination meeting of the findings, Dr Idris Baba, the Officer in Charge of UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, emphasized that the success of the Girls Education Project Phase III (GEP3) could be attributed to its comprehensive societal approach. The project addressed a wide range of social, psychosocial, cultural, and economic factors that affect girls’ education. By implementing multiple interventions, targeting various stakeholders, and utilizing different change-inducing strategies, GEP3 was successful in inducing desired shifts in perceptions and behaviors related to girls’ education.

Dr Baba highlighted that the GEP3 made remarkable progress in reducing inequalities and improving girls’ access, enrolment, retention, and learning outcomes in basic education. The achievements, lessons learned, and recommendations from the project provide valuable insights for future interventions.

Binta Abdulkadir, the Director of the Senior Secondary Education Department at the Federal Ministry of Education, acknowledged the success of GEP3 in changing the narrative around school enrolment and completion at the basic education level. She noted that GEP3 built upon the achievements of the previous Girls Education Projects (GEP1 and GEP2) and continued to make positive impacts.

Overall, the GEP3 was recognized as a successful initiative that significantly contributed to enhancing girls’ education in Northern Nigeria by addressing various factors and implementing effective interventions.

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