No fewer than 11, 243 pupils will this year benefit from the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) Cash Transfer in Sokoto, Alhaji Mamuda Galadima has confirmed.
Galadima, who is from the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) and acting coordinator, Cash Transfer Programme, told newsmen in Sokoto that the UNICEF Cash Transfer programme has not only begun to yield positive responses as parents now allow their wards to go to school but also helps in reducing poverty.
According to him, there are over a million school-age children in the state who are currently not in school, and SUBEB introduced free breakfast policy as one of the measures to encourage schools’ enrolment.
He said that the free breakfast measure, though still a pilot programme experimented only in five primary schools across the state, has encouraged schools’ enrolment in the affected areas.
Galadima said, “The UNICEF Cash Transfer programme has really supported many parents in so many ways, because it entails economic support to the families of the beneficiaries. The programme promotes access to education for the girl-child in the state”.
While calling on the local, state and federal governments to emulate the Cash Transfer programme by coming up with other measures that could encourage schools’ enrolment, especially at the primary and pre-primary levels in educationally backward states of Nigeria, Galadima said the programme has increased schools’ enrolment in Sokoto State.
Supporting the Cash Transfer programme at the Gidan Abba Primary School, Bodinga local government of Sokoto State, Galadima said that in the exercise, N5,000 will be given to each of the caregivers who are mainly women to support each pupil in school.
Earlier, Kaduna UNICEF media and external relations officer, Rabiu Musa, had disclosed that no fewer than 10.5 million school-age children in Nigeria are not in school. Of this figure, Rabiu said that both the North West and North East have the highest number.