Darwesh-Said said that the figure represented 44 per cent in Sokoto and 62 per cent in Zamfara, based on progressive annual school census data.
She said that during the period, the capacities of no fewer than 11,593 teachers were enhanced, out of whom 486 were females in the two states.
The UNICEF chief field officer said that 1,280 Integrated Qur’anic School (IQS) facilitators were trained in the two states, out of whom 92 were females.
He said that the project was targeted at supporting efficient and effective governance, where no fewer than 13,094 school management committee members underwent relevant capacity trainings in both states.
Darwesh-Said said that the project ensured three outputs comprising increased enrolment and retention of girls in basic education, improved capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning for girls and improved governance to strengthen girls’ education.
“In recognition of the benefits from GEP, a sustainability strategy document was developed by the states.
“I urge the states to ensure full implementation of the sustainability plan by incorporating it into their budget to capture required funding contributions for UNICEF supported interventions to facilitate strategic sustainability,” she said.
Darwesh-Said said that only continuity could ensure that those young girls and boys who had been provided with the opportunity of enjoying their rights to education continue to thrive and learn to become responsible citizens.
She reinstated UNICEF’s commitment to continue providing technical support to the implementation agencies in the states toward a common vision of ensuring that all school girls and boys were in school and learning.
Earlier, Sokoto State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Alhaji Bello Abubakar, commended UNICEF and other supporting partners, noting that the state had achieved a lot in the growth of education.
Abubakar said that government had put in place better school management, provided habitable learning environment, improved teachers’ methodology and promoted women-teacher model initiative, among others.
Also speaking, Chairman of Sokoto State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Altine Kajiji, said that the state government had established 76 post-basic literacy centres.
According to Kajiji, there are two of such centres in each local government area, with one allocated to boys and one to girls, to promote formal learning.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the participants included: UNICEF and government officials as well as journalists from the two states.