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Over 20,000 Out-of-School children To Access Learning In Katsina- UNICEF.

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The Katsina State Government and the United Nations Children Fund UNICEF and it’s partners have launched a cash transfer programme expected to provide learning opportunities for over 20,000 out-of-school children in the state and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of beneficiaries and their households.

The cash transfer programme will provide access to learning for the beneficiaries and help reduce the number of 536,132 children currently out of school in Katsina State.

A statement from UNICEF indicates that Governor Bello Masari at the ceremony held in Mani Katsina State lauded the initiative,saying it has yielded many positive results in the education and relevant sectors.

“We are grateful to UNICEF and the Educate A Child (EAC) project for the funds. The Programme Implementation Unit for the cash transfer programme will monitor the programme closely and ensure that the beneficiaries make judicious use of the resources,” Maisari said.

20,802 Out of School children and Almajiri’s in Kafur, Mani and Safana Local Government Areas in Katsina State are expected to benefit from the ₦332,832,000 naira cash transfer programme to be disbursed through 10,557 female parents/caregivers as part of efforts to increase school enrolment and attendance rates for boys and girls.

Each female parent/caregiver will receive N8,000 per tranche twice in 2022, amounting to N16,000.per beneficiary.

Accordingly,the initiative will also ensure that beneficiaries are enrolled and retained in any form of organized school, including Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) and provided with literacy and numeracy skills linked to employability and livelihood schemes.

The cash transfer programme is being delivered together with the birth registration programme which has so far seen registration of 20,400 children. Social workers will be equipped with required skills to track and reunify children living on the street or similar situations with their families, thereby ensuring family-based care for children. Already, 50 Mallams of Tsangaya schools in three LGAs have been trained on safeguarding and keeping children safe from violence and abuse in their facilities.

The UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins on his part commended it’s partners, the Educate A Child Project for making funds for the cash transfer programme in Katsina State.

He added that the take-off of the cash transfer programme provides the opportunity to take children off the streets back to the classrooms where every school age child should be.

” We urge the government to continue to build on these interventions to ensure that every school age child is in school and learning,” he said.

“UNICEF is excited that with this launch, we’ll be addressing the important issues of not just access to education, but quality of learning as we focus on literacy and numeracy skills to build the foundation for employability and livelihood skills,”

There are currently 536,132 out of school children in Katsina State.

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