Sokoto state government, in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), is training 830 female teachers in a pioneer scheme to provide enough role models for female students, especially in rural communities in different parts of the state.
The Female Train the Trainee scheme is being executed under UNICEF’s Girls Education Project (GEP3). It’s main aim is to train female teachers from rural areas who would in turn go back to their communities and teach.
Giving an insight into the project when she led a team on a sensitisation visit to the wife of the state Governor, Hajiya Mariya Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a Consultant overseeing the implementation of the project, Maryam Usman Na’ibi, said the GEP3 project also aims to get out of school rural children back to school without further delay.
“We have discovered that among the reasons behind girls dropping out of school children are poverty, religious misconception, ignorance, cultural beliefs and insecurity. Parents are afraid of sending their girl children to school because of fear that they may be molested by male teachers.
“So in order to reassure communities holding such misconceptions, we decided to train female teachers from among themselves who will in turn take the lead in teaching children from their localities,” she added.
Naibi said in order to take care of poverty issues, the Sokoto state government and UNICEF introduced a cash transfer programme where mothers or care givers get 5000 Naira monthly for sending a girl child to school to assist them buy books and other things for the girls.
In addition to the payment to mothers and care givers, the trainee female teachers also get paid to aid their education while at the end of their studies, they are absorbed into the state civil service as teachers in their localities.
So far, the GEP3 is implemented in six local government areas namely Binji, Bodinga, Gudu, Goronyo, Kebbe and Wurno.