NIGER State government has embarked on a deliberate policy to boost girl-child enrolment and retention in schools by encouraging more female children into the teaching profession.
Part of the process was the enrolment of no fewer than about 2,000 girls into various colleges of education across in the state to acquire basic teaching techniques before deploying them to primary schools as teachers.
Indication to this effect emerged during the activities marking the International Day for the Girl-Child in Minna, the state capital.
The Director, School Services in the Niger State Universal Basic Education Board, Mallam Mahmud Sani, said the students were selected from the three senatorial zones that make up the state and given scholarships to obtain the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in colleges of education.
He said out of the number, 500 have been issued certificates, while many others have secured employment with the State Primary Education Board and were appropriately deployed to rural areas of the state, where there were problems of low enrolment of girl-child in schools.
The measure, he said, was aimed at bridging the gap between girls and boys in school enrolment. “With the presence of female teachers at that tier of education, parents and pupils, especially girls, will be encouraged to enroll in school,” he noted.
He said the state government has also collaborated with UNICEF to encourage the enrolment of girl-child by providing stipends to indigent parents to take care of hidden costs that will hinder them from sending their wards to school.
He noted that 12,000 pupils have so far benefited from the scheme in 72 schools across the state.