Chris Steven, Abuja
No fewer than 17,637 pupils selected from Sokoto, Kaduna and Jigawa States are to benefit from the Federal Government’s scholarship scheme under the Nigerian Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP).
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who made this known in Abuja on Monday while declaring open the Joint National Project Steering Committee Meeting of State Education Programme Investment Project (SEPIP) and NIPEP, said 14,850 pupils from Kano and Katsina States had already benefited from the 2015 edition of the scheme.
“In a bid to increase access to basic education for out-of-school children, especially of girls, 14,850 pupils out of the targeted 33,000 for the year 2015 were given scholarships. And 6,996 girls benefitted from the scheme in Kano while 7,856 were beneficiaries in Katsina State.
“I am glad to note that 8,000 girls in Sokoto, 4,637 girls in Kaduna and 5,000 girls in Jigawa have been screened and are waiting to benefit from the scheme.” He said
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said the World Bank-supported SEPIP and NIPEP, have impacted positively in the nation’s education sector in the areas of boosting enrolment, teacher education and performance of students.
He said, “In Anambra State, apart from teachers in hard-to-staff LGAs receiving salary incentives, students from those areas have increasingly begun to improve in their performances and excellently performing students chosen to represent schools at zonal, national and international competitions. These were schools that hardly had science teachers previously.
“Bauchi State has moved up in their position in the WAEC examination from 36th in 2014 to 31st position in 2015. The results of WAEC and NECO have shown tremendous improvement of Ekiti State.”
While saying that a total of 1,528 female teachers from NIPEP states of Kaduna, Jigawa and Sokoto received scholarship to obtain minimum teaching qualification of Nigerian Certificate of Education in 2015, the minister said 35 female teachers from Katsina and Kano states have been screened to also benefit from the scheme.
On his part, the World Bank Specialist in Nigeria, Mr Tunde Adekola, who commended the minister for bringing the steering committee meeting of NIPEP and SIPEP under one umbrella, expressed confidence that the two programmes would go a long way in improving the fortunes of the nation’s education sector.
It would be recalled that SEPIP was initiated in 2013 for Anambra, Ekiti and Bauchi states with a grant of $150 million while NIPEP is aimed at improving access to basic education in the North-West states of the country.