Katsina State Government, and UNICEF have launched a cash transfer programme that will provide learning opportunities for more than 20,000 out-of-school children and improve socio-economic welfare of beneficiaries and their families. Presently,there are 536,132 out of school children in Katsina State. Speaking at the occasion in Mani, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Maisari said;“The partnership between his administration and UNICEF has yielded positive results, not only in the education sector, but in other sectors of the state. We are grateful to UNICEF and the Educate A Child (EAC) project for the funds. The Programme Implementation Unit for the cash transfer programme will monitor the programme closely and ensure that the beneficiaries make judicious use of the resources.”
Through the cash transfer programme, a total of ₦332,832,000 will be disbursed to 20,802 out-of-school children (OOSC) and Almajiris in Kafur, Mani and Safana LGAs of Katsina State. The funds will be disbursed through 10,557 female parents/caregivers to increase school enrolment and attendance rates for boys and girls.
Each female parent/caregiver will receive N8,000 per tranche twice in 2022, amounting to N16,000.per beneficiary. The cash transfer programme will ensure that beneficiaries are enrolled and retained in any form of organised school, including Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) and provided with literacy and numeracy skills linked to employability and livelihood schemes.
The cash transfer programme is being delivered in conjunction with the birth registration programme which so far has registered 20,400 children. Social workers will be equipped with required skills to track and reunify children living on the street or similar situations with their families, thereby ensuring family-based care for children.
Already, 50 Mallams of Tsangaya schools in three LGAs have been trained on safeguarding and keeping children safe from violence and abuse in their facilities.
In his speech, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria,Peter Hawkins said;“We are thankful to our partners, the Educate A Child Project, for funds for the cash transfer programme in Katsina State. The take-off of the programme provides the opportunity to take children off the streets back to the classrooms where every child of school should be. We urge the government to continue to build on these interventions to ensure that every school age child is in school and learning.”
“UNICEF is happy that with this launch, we’ll be addressing the important issues of not just access to education, but quality of learning as we focus on literacy and numeracy skills to build the foundation for employability and livelihood skills,” he said.