The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative Lt. Gen T.Y. Danjuma GCON (rtd) has commended students under the Safe Schools Initiative for their resilience and determination to continue with their education. He made the assertion in Zaria during the SSI monitoring and evaluation visit for 3rd Term on October 23. Gen Danjuma who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the PCNI, Tijjani M. Tumsah made the commendation at Federal Government Girls College, Zaria where he met with the SSI students, staff and management of the school.
The students in Zaria are some of the over 2,000 students that were transferred from endangered communities in the North East under the student transfer programme of the Safe Schools Initiative. The SSI was established in 2014 to create safe learning spaces in which children could continue their education. The students drawn from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states were relocated following the closure of their secondary schools due to the insurgency.
During the interaction with the students Tumsah encouraged the students to be steadfast in their studies and praised them for their resilience. “We are committed to your welfare and will continue to track your academic pursuits so that you can be better citizens and assets to your families and the society in general,” he said. The Principal of FGGC Zaria, Dr. Asmau Y. Abdulkadir said that the student registered remarkable improvement in their integration into the school and academic performance.
The visit was part of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) exercise aimed at, among other things, assessing the extent to which the students benefiting from the programme were faring, ascertaining the success of the Student Transfer Programme since the last M&E exercise in July 2017, identifying the constraints faced by the schools and students under the programme and collating suggestions on how to alleviate them.
Schools visited include Federal Government Girls College Bauchi, Federal Government College Azare in the North East; FGGC Bida, FGC Minna, FGC Ilorin and FSTC Kuta-Shiroro, FGC Kwali, FGC Keffi, FGC Ugwolawo, FGGC Abaji in the North Central; and FGC Zaria, FGC Kano, FGC Kaduna, FGGC Gusau, FGC Sokoto and FGGC Tambuwal in the North Central. The M&E team rigorously engaged with school management authorities and students and conducted focus group discussions and key Informant Interviews. The analysis of the findings will inform the operational priorities and policy directions that will improve the SSI. It will be recalled that the insurgency in the North East has adversely impacted region’s education system with over 1,100 schools destroyed across the region and about 600 teachers killed since 2010 according. A total number of 43 schools are currently under the SSI programme.