The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (Agile) Project is building 150 senior and junior secondary schools in Katsina State to increase access to education in the state.
The project initiative is a federal government initiative with support from the World Bank that seeks to improve secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls in seven states.
Agile also seeks to improve education outcomes and the overall wellbeing and life trajectory of adolescent girls in Nigeria.
The project consists of three components which are: creating safe and accessible learning spaces, fostering an enabling environment for girls, and project management and system strengthening.
Katsina is one of the seven states in the country where the AGILE project is being implemented. The other six states are Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Plateau, Kano and Kebbi.
In the first phase of the project, N1.5 billion support was given to 15 existing senior and junior secondary schools in the state. The support will be extended to other schools.
Ninety junior secondary schools and 60 senior secondary schools would be built according to Mustapha Shehu, the state’s project coordinator.
He said 72,900 pupils would be enrolled in the 150 schools.
Mr Shehu, who spoke Saturday during the foundation laying event of one of the schools in Charanci area of the state, said children of school age would have the chance of attending schools close to their homes.
“What we witnessed today is the foundation laying of seventy five schools. But this is the first phase of the project. The target of the project is to build 150 secondary schools; ninety for junior and sixty for senior.
“The idea is to ensure that schools are closer to communities. The national policy on education provides the maximum distance a child should trek to go to school. These schools will serve more than nineteen communities who have primary schools but don’t have secondary school, so these schools will provide easier access for children to go to school. The schools will also ensure seamless transition from junior to senior secondary school,” Mr Shehu said.
He said the schools would have classrooms, multipurpose laboratories, administration blocks, multipurpose halls, and toilets.
Mr Shehu said the classrooms are designed to accommodate 45 pupils each.
As of 2022, Katsina State had 536,132 out of school children, according to the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF).
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