Succour for Kano students especially school girls as the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF distributed menstrual hygiene kits, security kits, and teaching and learning materials among others to schools in Kano State in order to address issues of out-of-school children. The UNICEF Chief of the Kano Field Office, Rahama Farah while making symbolic distribution of the items, identified a lack of menstrual hygiene kits and insecurity or unsafe learning environment as factors responsible for the issue of school children situation. Farah however said that the distribution of the items was part of the Fund’s numerous interventions to complement the government’s efforts to make schools safe and increase enrolment. According to him, “The education sector in Nigeria faces a number of challenges which impact negatively on learning. One of these is the incidence of unsafe learning environments epitomized by attacks on schools and the abduction of learners. This situation scares learners away from schools and discourages parents from enrolling and retaining their children in school, thereby exacerbating the situation of out-of-school children, especially in Northern Nigeria.“ To improve access to education for Nigerian children, UNICEF has been supporting the government to address the challenge of unsafe learning environments. For instance, under the Girls’ Education Project (GEP 3), UNICEF supported the training of School-Based Management Committee members (SBMCs), teachers and pupils in Kano and Katsina States on school safety and early warning systems. UNICEF has also supported the training of adolescent girls in menstrual hygiene management. “Building on our ongoing support to education, the items in the UNICEF supplies being distributed to schools today include rechargeable torch/hand lights, plastic emergency whistles, electric bells, and basic first aid kits for treating minor injuries.“ Other items donated include Menstrual hygiene kits, mathematics texts for remote learning and reading textbooks. “While the menstrual hygiene kits are meant to help address the hygiene needs of adolescent school girls – the lack of which keeps many of them out of school,” Farah noted. The UNICEF Chief of the Kano Field Office also used the opportunity to re-echo the call on the state government to as a matter of urgency pass the child protection bill into law in the state. Earlier, the Chairman, of Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Danlami Hayyo sounded a word of warning on the schools/beneficiaries not to sell items donated to them noting stiffer penalties await whoever is found abusing the items. Hayyo represented by Commissioner 1, Kabir Ahmad however applauded UNICEF for its relentless interventions in the state’s education sector towards improving teaching and learning. However, the Chairman of the School-Based Management Committee, SBMC, Tijjani Baraya said it will set up a monitoring team to monitor the distribution and usage of items in order to achieve the set objective of increasing the number of enrolment and ensuring safe schools. Items distributed include over 6,000 menstrual hygiene kits, 330 security kits and 190 alarm bells among others to 60 schools across 11 Local Government Areas (6 Focal LGAs for GEP 3 project and 5 LGAs bothering Insecurity states).

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