Board of Directors of the World Bank on Wednesday endorsed a $500m loan from the International Development Association for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted areas.
The World Bank said the project would support access to secondary education and empowerment for adolescent girls in seven states which are Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti.
The bank said this in a statement titled, “Nigeria to boost support for keeping adolescent girls in school.”
It stated that adolescent girls face many constraints in accessing and completing secondary education.
In northern Nigeria, it added, the lack of secondary schools was significantly greater with up to 10 primary schools for every secondary school.
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It stated, “Poor condition of infrastructure and a lack of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities makes it difficult for girls to stay in school.
“In addition, close to 80 per cent of poor households are in the north, which makes it very challenging for them to cover the direct and indirect costs of schooling.
“All these factors have contributed towards limiting the number of girls that have access to secondary school.
“If nothing is done, 1.3 million girls out of the 1.85 million who began primary school in 2017/2018 in the northern states will drop out before reaching the last year of junior secondary school.”
The World Bank said AGILE project would use secondary school as a platform to empower girls through education, life skills, health education ( such as nutrition, reproductive health) GBV awareness and prevention, negotiations skills, self-agency and digital literacy skills.
It stated that a minimum of six million girls and boys were expected to benefit from the project and many more cohorts of students would continue benefiting after the project ends.
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “There is no better investment to accelerate Nigeria’s human capital development than to significantly boost girls’ education.
“The AGILE project will enable Nigeria to make progress in improving access and quality of education for girls, especially in northern Nigeria.