Hajia Hauwa Lawan’s children have been absent from school for several years, as she does not have the means of basic survival .
She wanted her children to be educated .The lack of financial capacity have forfeited this tall dream, until she came into contact with the Cash transfer programme .
She said the introduction of the Cash transfer programme have helped her in sending her three girls to school in Sokoto state.
According to her, the financial assistance have enabled her to run her small business , and also able to meet the basic needs of her children.
“Am very grateful for the opportunity given to me and the other women, that enabled us to send our wards to school .
With this money ,am able to do small business.I sell Tiger nuts,Barbara nuts ,as well as sell small animals to survive “
She further explained that even after the extinction of the Cash Transfer programme, she is willing to spend money so that her children will have basic education.
Another mother, Saudatu Yusuf noted that the benefit of the Cash transfer programme has enabled the women in the area to engage in small buying and selling through the financial assistance from sponsors .
“We will never forget them in a long time.They have been so amazing to us. We will keep encouraging our children to attend school .We have seen the benefit of education.We will keep encouraging our children to follow this path”
Hajiya Saudatu disclosed that there have been improvement in personal hygiene of the students.
“Initially ,my children are reluctant in brushing their teeth and taking their bath ,but now things have changed considerable .We do not force them before they brush their teeth and clean every other part of their body”
The elated mother said they have seen the importance of education and will keep encouraging her ward to be punctual in school.
The women in Sokoto state have been actively involved in driving education through the Cash Transfer programme.
Through the active engagement of mothers who have shown great interest in the education of the girls, a large number of Out of school children are back in school.
The UNICEF Education officer in Sokoto state,Paul Muzingo said women are the key drivers of Education in Northern part of the country.
“The Cash Transfer programme have been able to serve as empowerment scheme for mothers, as they have used the money given to them to invest in buying and selling”
He hinted that a good number of the parent engage in rearing of animals.
“Some of the women have engaged in buying and selling to improve their source of livelihood .The Cash Transfer programme has increased school enrollment and capacity”
He further called on the government of Kebbi, and Zamfara,to have a sustainable plan like Sokoto state.
The Girls’ Education Project 3 -Cash Transfer programme (GEP3-CTP) is one of the major strategies adopted by DFID/UNICEF and state government to increase girl child enrollment ,and also improve retention in schools.
Poverty is one of the militating factor against Girl child education in Northern Nigeria.With intervention such as the Cash Transfer programme ,a good number of girls are back in school.
The DFID/UNICEF has contributed the sum of 5million US Dollars for two years, which is equivalent to 825 Million Naira for the implementation of the Cash Transfer programme .
The Project Implementation Unit officer in Niger state, disclosed that the state government has contribute the sum of 2-Million Naira for the success of the Cash Transfer Programme.
“ We engaged the services of Team of consultants from Economic Policy Research Institute in South Africa to set up the PIU unit.
The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) was established comprising of 10 members under a Coordinator”
“UNICEF engaged the services of Team of consultants from Economic Policy Research Institute in South Africa to set up the PIU unit”.
The Representative of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi explained that women have been fully engaged in the development of the education sector through the active involvement in the Cash Transfer Programme.
He said some mothers are now actively involved in buying and selling ,and the narrative have changed from what used to be observed in the past.
The representative of Sultan however noted that there are so many factors inhibiting the Girl child Education in the state.
“Poverty is a great factor which is hindering many wards and children from attending school .We are trying our best to ensure that they attend school.
At the New Rimawa Model Primary school, Sokoto state where Cash Transfer Programme is being implemented, it was found out that the school attendance have increased .
“The school which was established in 1970, now have a total number of 1170 students, compared to when the number was 595, before the inception of the programme.The school have witnessed increase in both male and female attendance .The school has a staff strength of 11.With only three female teachers on the pay roll”
“The teachers do not have a seat of their own, where they can be comfortable during school hours .While the student sit on bare floors “says Yusuf Abubakar, the Head Teacher.
A teacher with the Rimawa model primary school, Nureini Idris said the school enrollment had increased greatly since the inception of the Cash transfer programme .
He said he has 50 boys and 75 girls presently in his class ,which is quite encouraging .
“We are trying our best to improve on the quality of education in the school .We want more parents to bring their ward or children to school ,so as to reduce the number of out of school children”.