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CTP exposes neglect of Sokoto public schools, reduces girl-child labour

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PHOTO: Reuters

The successful implementation of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) in some public primary schools in Sokoto State has exposed government’s long neglect of the schools.

UNICEF had introduced the CTP in Sokoto and Niger states in 2014 to empower parents and caregivers to send their female children to school.

Evidence abounds that the CTP has to a very significant extent reduced the girl child labour in Sokoto, increased enrolment of girl-child education in Goronyo Local Council, as well as revealed the level of collapse of public education in the state.

The programme aimed at addressing the socio-economic needs of the poor families in the northern communities, awards benefitting families N5,000 for each girl-child per term, thereby encouraging parents to send their wards to school.

Now that the CTP programme had successfully reduced street hawking, and brought in more boys and girls in schools, the issue of poor infrastructure, lack of qualified teachers, furniture and learning materials in some Sokoto public schools is obviously threatening the sustainability of the project.

There is need for an urgent intervention in the area of infrastructure so as to address the upsurge in the school.

Head teacher of New Rimawa Model School in Goronyo Local Council, Yusuf Abubakar, who spoke during a media tour to the school, cautioned that if government and stakeholders fail to intervene urgently, to address the current state of the school, then UNICEF’s effort might be threatened.

He pointed out that the school’s capacity for intake of pupils was not only overstretched but the infrastructural decay was also appalling.

The Guardian observed that there were no seats and desks in the classrooms, as the pupils sat on the floor, while the buildings were also in a sorry state, as the roofs and ceilings were already worn-out.

Abubakar said the school had made several appeals to the government and other stakeholders but they were yet to receive any assistance.


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