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British government, Lagos drum support for girl-child empowerment

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PHOTO: YourBlackEducation

The British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Laure Beaufils, has expressed the commitment of the British government to help address the numerous challenges confronting the girl child in Nigeria and empower them to achieve their goals.

This was revealed during the formal launch of “Educating Nigerian Girls In New Enterprises (Engine II),” on Tuesday, where stakeholders and development partners from the public and private sectors, brainstormed on issues affecting the wellbeing of the girl- child.

Beaufils represented by the Regional Coordinator of DFID in the South West, David Ukagwu, highlighted the need to help the girl- child achieve maximum level of literacy and numeracy as well entrepreneurial skills, saying it will help them attain loftier heights in life.

She listed unwanted pregnancy and child marriage as major factors hindering the girl-child access to schooling saying “36 per cent of girls between ages 15 to 19 in Nigeria have at least one baby.”

ENGINE II is a UK aid initiative organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Agency for Mass Education in collaboration with Mercy Corps Nigeria and Action Health Incorporated.

The first phase of the project started in October 2013 and ended in March 2017. In its first phase, marginalised girls between ages 16 to 19 were supported to improve their learning outcomes and economic status.

Building upon the success of ENGINE I, the second phase of the project started in April 2017 and will end in March 2020. It works with both in-school and out-of-school girls across four states of Nigeria, Kano Kaduna, Federal Capital Territy and Lagos Metropolis.

Special Adviser to Lagos State government on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, stated that the launch of ENGINE II programme will give impetus to the vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to build a State that works for all.  

The project, he said will be jointly implemented by Lagos State Agency for Mass Education; Mercy Corp and Action Health Incorporated.

He said, “This clear mandate to build a Lagos that works for all regardless of socio-economic or educational background as well as our awareness of the staggering statistics which show that 13 per cent representing about 3million Lagos residents cannot read or write in any language gave birth to Eko Nke Koo (Lagos Is Learning), an initiative aimed at raising the literacy rate in Lagos State from its current 87 per cent to 95 per cent.

“Through this, the state Agency for Mass Education has established new adult literacy centres increasing the number from 532 in 2016 to 782 as at January 2018. We have also recorded improvement in enrolment and retention rate of learners in the programme.

In 2017, 19,275 out of 19,683 enrolled learners graduated from the programme while 750 new adult literacy facilitators were trained and deployed to centres across the State to implement the training of the learners.”


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