Cluster Learning Centers: Solution to poor school enrollment for girls

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The poor attendance rate of the Nigerian girl child in basic education accounts for 60% of all cases out-of-school children in Nigeria.

This data by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is proof that girls bear a larger brunt of the challenge of lack of access to education especially in Northern Nigeria.

For years there had been renewed calls for strategic focus on the education of the girl-child, tasking government to develop frameworks that will see an increase in access and quality of basic education for the girl-child.

But for more girls to have the desired access and opportunity, corrective interventions must be introduced to increase interest in education.

Recently, the Universal Basic Education Commission birthed a new strategy called the Cluster Community Learning Centers for Girls (CCLCGs) to tackle the threat of out of school girls.

The initiative will see girls and women have access to local informal places of learning, where they can utilise available academic resources and gain informal but basic educational training.

The Cluster Community Learning Centers is expected to target out-of-school children especially girls, in addition to education, the (CCLCGs) will provide skills and offer training for income generation.

But for this initiative to succeed, the Executive Secretary UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi says states must scale up strategies that will focus on acquisition of literacy, numeracy and importantly the acquisition of relevant skills for girls.

He was speaking at a meeting convened to develop an effective structure for implementing the proposed CCLCG intervention.

Boboyi urged States to take ownership of existing basic education facilities to ensure access to quality learning and equity for girls.

‘‘It is a known fact that UBEC, other related agencies are at the forefront of advocating for and implementing reforms that will address perceived challenges, broaden available opportunities and make way for inclusive mechanisms for educating the girl-child and other vulnerable groups in the country’’.

Stakeholders at the meeting are expected to articulate the concept of Cluster Community Learning Centers for Girls (CCLCGs) in the Nigeria context and develop modalities for operationalizing the initiative, especially in areas where the challenge of out-of-school children is endemic.

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