By Abraham Olatokunbo
The World Bank has approved a $500 million credit for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment towards improving secondary education opportunities for girls in seven states in Nigeria.
The credit, approved from the bank’s International Development Association that provides grant to developing countries, is with low to zero-interest for projects and programmes that contribute to economic growth and improve the livelihood of the populace in such nations.
The World Bank said in a statement, at the weekend, that the project would support access to secondary education and empowerment for adolescent girls in seven states of Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti.
The project is expected to use secondary as a platform to empower girls through education, life skills, health education, gender-based violence awareness and prevention, negotiations skills, self-agency and digital literacy skills.
According to the statement, a minimum of six million girls and boys are expected to benefit from the project and many more students are expected to continue benefiting after the project ends.
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Mr 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.
“Addressing the key structural impediments in a comprehensive way will create the enabling environment to help Nigeria ensure better outcomes for girls, which will translate into their ability to contribute to productivity and better economic outcomes for themselves and the country”.
He said the project would benefit about 6.7m adolescents and 15.5m direct project beneficiaries would include families and communities in participating states.
It also said that the project had been adapted to respond to COVID-19 and would support a blended learning approach using technology and media (TV and radio) to implement remote and distance learning programs.
“The AGILE project will expand existing primary and Junior Secondary Schools to include both JSSs and Senior Secondary Schools to make schools functional, safe, and inclusive to teaching and learning.
This entails building more than 5,500 for JSS and 3,300 classrooms for SSS, as well as improving 2,786 Junior Secondary and 1,914 Senior Secondary schools with safe, accessible, and inclusive infrastructure among others.