THE United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has given an N102.5 million grant to 200 Integrated Quranic Centres (IQS) and 210 public primary schools in six local government areas of Niger State.
Mr Francis Elisha, the Education Officer, UNICEF Kaduna, disclosed this on Wednesday during a field monitoring of the implementation of the project in Munya, Mariga and Mashegu local government areas of the state.
Elisha said that the grant, which was disbursed in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) was for improvement of school learning facilities.
He added that the grant was also to be used to expand facilities in the schools to accommodate the pupils.
“The school improvement grant is for the provision of instructional materials to encourage child enrolment and increase access to education in those areas.
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“The intervention is also to help reduce the number of out-of-school children, and to facilitate the integration of formal education into traditional Quranic centres,’’ the UNICEF official said.
Earlier, Malam Abubakar Yunusa, the Proprietor, Faidautul Islam Centre in Zazzaga Community, said that the IQS centre was established in 2010 with about 55 pupils.
Yunusa said that about 402 pupils were currently studying in the centre, which had nine teachers.
“I was inspired to establish this centre by my passion for children’s education.
“This place was built with support from members of the community, and the centre is accommodating children from three neighbouring communities.
“Aside from Islamic teaching, we also teach subjects such as Mathematics, English, Physical and Health Education, Social Studies and Hausa.
“This is to enable our children to acquire both formal and informal education because the pupils will have to go through primary one to primary six,’’ the IQS proprietor said.
Yunusa commended the UNICEF and DFID for providing instructional materials and other support to enable the centre to improve teaching and learning.