By Auwalu Birnin Kudu
Zango (Katsina) – The World Bank has released about N31.6 million as school improvement and scholarship grant to the Zango Local Education Authority of Katsina to encourage education in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that N14.8 million is for school improvement, while N16.8 million will be for scholarships.
The fund is released under the World Bank/UNICEF Global Partnership in Education Programme (GPE) in collaboration with the Katsina State Government.
Malam Sabiu Ibrahim-Zango, the Secretary, Zango Local Education Authority (LEA), said made the disclosure during the disbursement of scholarship allowances on Wednesday.
NAN also reports that scholarships were awarded to 423 pupils of 22 selected primary schools in the area with emphasis on girl-child education and children from remote communities.
Ibrahim-Zango explained that the beneficiaries were also mainly girl-children who were in Primary 2 classes, adding that about N8.4 million had been disbursed before.
“This is the second disbursement as we did one last year and each child collected N20,000,’’ he said.
The Zango LEA scribe said the current disbursement was also N8.4 million, amounting N20,000 per child to the same beneficiaries, making each of them to receive a total of N40, 000 on the whole.
He said that the funds were released for the period between 2016 and 2017.
Ibrahim-Zango said the programme was informed by the recent survey and statistics obtained on the number of out-of-school children in the northwest of the country by UNICEF and World Bank.
He said the survey indicated that a great percentage of the out-of-school children were the girl-children which attributed to child hawking, hence the decision of the donors to introduce the scholarship.
He noted that parents were expected to support the education of their children with school bags, sandals, food, stationery and other learning materials.
Ibrahim-Zango said his office had recently received an approval to include five additional primary schools in the area in the programme.
“’With this, we have 27 participating primary schools in this area,’’ he added.
He said the donors had also registered 42 primary schools that would enjoy the school improvement grant (SIG), adding that “’the grant varies from school to school.
“Some schools got N250,000 per annum, while some got N150, 000 to promote school environment and day care programme for little children.
He said both programmes had promoted enrolment in the area, noting that “’we have recorded 85 per cent girl-children enrolment due to the incentives introduced as it motivated parents and the pupils.
He commended the efforts of Katsina State Government and MDG office for renovating and constructing additional schools in the area
The Acting Chairman of the Local Government Council, Alhaji Sale Tsagero, commended the donors and urged parents to make judicious use of the money.
He said the local government would strictly monitor how the money was being spent.
“’We will collaborate with teachers to ascertain how the cash donation was used on the children,’’ he said.
A cross-section of parents of the beneficiaries commended the donors and the Katsina State Government for their efforts in promoting education, especially the girl-child education.
Suwaiba Anas, the mother of one of the beneficiaries, Halima, promised to see to her daughter’s education up to the university level.
“’I want her to grow and compete in this modern world,’’ she said. (NAN)