The parents and caregivers of about 300,000 poor female students get N10,000 per term in six states as incentives for schooling, the World Bank disclosed in a feature story on its website.
The Bank disclosed the six states to consist of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Plateau. It said the funding was provided through the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Programme.
The feature story said that most girls who dropped out of school came from poor families.
It added, “In Nigeria, four in 10 people live below the poverty line – that’s 95 million people. Currently, 87 per cent of them live in Northern Nigeria.”
It also noted that aside from poverty, cultural practices deeply rooted in social norms such as education preferences for boys and early marriage for girls, contributed to the low enrolment and secondary school completion rates for girls.
It said, “Nigeria has the highest number of child brides in West and Central Africa, with 23.6 million girls married before the legal age of 18. When a girl marries at a young age, the probability of her dropping out of school is much higher than if she marries later. Globally, a whopping 87 per cent of married adolescent girls are out of school,” it read.
The World Bank noted that the N10,000 per term was provided to the parents of poor female students for school attendance and re-enrollment.
It was also disclosed that N5,000 was given to each girl’s parent upon registration in the programme.
The feature story read, “The financial incentive scheme aims to help parents of adolescent girls from poorest households to keep their girls in school by paying for school fees and related costs.
“It includes provision of N5,000 ($14) upon registration in the program and N10,000 ($28) each term to poor female students, conditional on their attendance or re-enrollment in school. More than 300,000 girls in six states are currently enrolled in the scheme.”
On the method for identifying poor female students, it was disclosed that the state governments conducted surveys to identify girls from poor households to participate in the programme.
After the identification of the girls, the cash incentive was transferred to dedicated bank accounts for each girl’s caregiver.
The World Bank disclosed that the AGILE project was currently being scaled up to 11 additional states and would reach more than 15 million beneficiaries.