The Jigawa State government, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is set to reintegrate no fewer than 123,996 children aged 10 and above back into the educational system.
This announcement was made by Hajiya Indo Garba, the Director of Child Development at the State’s Ministry of Women Affairs.
She spoke to journalists shortly after the opening ceremony of a 3-day training for 100 case workers at the Theatre Hall, Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse.
The programme has already shortlisted 8,000 children from four local government areas for the pilot phase.
“In September last year, we revalidated our data of out-of-school children across the state, and the number stood at 123,996,” mentioned Hajiya Indo Garba, the Director of Child Development in the state.
Garba highlighted that the state government, in collaboration with UNICEF, has initiated a project to reintegrate these children back into schools.
As part of the efforts to tackle this issue, the government has partnered with UNICEF to enrol 8,000 out-of-school children who are currently on the streets back into the educational system.
“We have already completed all the necessary steps to reintegrate the documented out-of-school children back into formal education.
This training is part of the process to ensure proper monitoring and the success of the programme,” noted Hajiya Indo Garba.
She further emphasised, “We have registered 2,000 children from each of the 4 local governments to begin the programme as a pilot, making it a total of 8,000.”
“In this programme, children aged 10 to 14 will be enrolled back into school, while those aged 14 to 19 will simultaneously be provided with skill training to help them attain self-reliance,” she emphasised.
Hajiya Garba stated, “We are conducting a 3-day training on case management, harmonised tools, and the Child Protection Information Management System to equip the selected case workers with the necessary knowledge of the system and to strengthen their capacity in case management.”
The director added, “At this piloting stage, the ministry has selected four civil society organisations to initiate the programme in the state.
The first batch of 50 caseworkers, selected from Dutse and Birnin Kudu CBOs, are currently undergoing training, followed by a second batch from Kafin Hausa and Yan’kwashi.”
She continued, “Each of the four selected CSOs was assigned a particular local government to identify reliable community-based Based Organisations.
The 25 CBOs selected from each of the 4 piloting local governments have been assessed and verified by the Ministry regarding their reporting and referral capabilities for cases of out-of-school children in their communities.”
Mrs. Fatima Adamu, the Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF Kano Field Office, stated, “UNICEF is providing a platform to bridge the gap of having children on the streets who would otherwise be left unsupported.”
“We are working with Jigawa State to address the situation of Tsangaya children, providing them with essential services such as psychosocial support, livelihood skills, and school enrollment for those interested.
This initiative is not only for Almajiri children but also for all adolescent out-of-school girls,” she added.
She highlighted that the Almajiri and out-of-school enrollment programmes in Jigawa target documented children in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the Tsangaya unit, and the Ministry of Women Affairs, along with recognised and partnered civil society organisations.
Mrs Adamu mentioned that for the current year, UNICEF in Jigawa aims to enrol between 8,000 and 10,000 out-of-school children, envisioning an environment where children have the opportunity to grow and develop their potential within their communities.
UNICEF is actively working on strengthening the justice and social welfare systems to facilitate every child’s thriving in the state.
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