The Niger State Coordinator of Habitation Hope, an NGO, Queen Nike Ajagbe, said her organisation had facilitated the return of 300 children back to primary school after they dropped out in three villages of Shiroro Local Government Area.
Ajagbe said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Minna on Thursday, that the children, from Paiyi, Gino and Geni villages, were previously engaged in hawking and manual jobs in rural markets.
“We spent several days educating their parents on the importance of girl-child education and what they intend to benefit if they allow their children to receive western education.”
“It was very hectic. We partnered with religious leaders of the two major religions in sensitising parents to allow their children to be educated.”
“We have to bear the cost of school uniforms, exercise books and we have to employ two teachers to compliment the efforts of the Community Primary School in Geno.”
“We paid the teachers N200,000 for a period of one year to ensure academic excellence among the children.”
“We have already notified the relevant authorities on the need to take over the community primary school and construct additional classrooms.”
“We have adopted a religion-based approach in reaching out to parents to allow their children receive western education,” the coordinator said.
Ajagbe said that the Assistant Coordinator of the organisation, Pastor Funke Kolajo, has being reaching out to pastors and imams to educate their followers on the importance of educating children.
She said that the involvement of religious leaders in the advocacy was to ensure that the parents do not withdraw the children from school.