Suwaiba Shuaibu recieving the ESSPIN gift items from a House of Assembly member from Jigawa.
“There have been at least 10 girls added to every class in this school since ESSPIN came and this has been very encouraging” says Yakubu Abubakar, Head Teacher of Miga Central Primary school in Miga Local government area of Jigawa state.
Yakubu’s school is involved in ESSPIN’s Girls Education Initiative in Jigawa where basic items required for schooling are handed over to girls from poor families as part of a multifaceted strategy to get more girls into school. The girls’ parents cannot afford school items for them and consequently do not let the girls attend regularly. The Girls Education Initiative is targeting 6000 girls for now and will be expanded. 3000 girls have so far received school uniforms, books and sanitary materials while their schools received sports items which are meant to encourage games and other sporting activities especially among the girls.
“Honestly, ESSPIN has brought a revolution to our school and to the local government as a whole. Some of these girls have started attending school regularly and we play our own part by having regular meetings with the parents through the SBMCs” says Yakubu.
ESSPIN has encouraged the establishment of School Based Management Committees and similar organisations that represent community interests. Support has been provided to ensure that girls are enrolled in schools and attend regularly up until completion. The impact of this support is being felt in other pilot local governments as well, including Birniwa and Roni. These local governments have also received significant programme resources to provide educational materials, water and sanitation and ESSPIN is helping improve school infrastructure as well. Gender officers have been trained to provide these girls with the necessary guidance and support they need to cope with growing up and getting an education at the same time.
Suwaiba Shehu, a twelve year old beneficiary of the initiative was overjoyed and stated “I will first of all show this to my mother and tell her that I have to finish school now because of what ESSPIN has given me”
Yakubu Abubakar’s determination is evident when he states: ,“Some other challenges still hamper some of the girls from coming to school, we are not there yet but with the kind of support we have received from ESSPIN and continue to get, we will not relent in our efforts to convince parents to send their girls to school.”