A recent report conducted by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and the Human Development Initiatives (HDI) has revealed that the dropout rate of school girls in Lagos and Sokoto States has increased between 2017 and 2021.
The report which is an endline report was conducted to evaluate the Tax Justice and Gender Responsive Public Services – Breaking Barriers Project, implemented in Lagos and Sokoto States.
The report was presented for validation by education stakeholders during a closeout session of the project in Lagos State.
While presenting the outcome of the report, Barr Dede Kadiri, an independent research consultant, highlighted that, “the endline study established that school dropout numbers have increased significantly since the Baseline Study in 2018 and girls’ dropout rate appears to be three times more than it was in 2017.
“Data collected from schools also show that 464 (6% of the pupils) girls did not return to school in 2019/2020.”
The report also revealed that “between the baseline in 2018 and endline in 2022, (in schools supported by the project) Lagos state enrolment had 127 fewer children than they had at the baseline, a decline of 1.2% while the enrolment rate in Sokoto state dropped by 42%.”
Kadiri also mentioned that the number of schools that take children with disabilities has increased from 6 in the baseline to 9 schools in the endline with more girls with disability (59%) enrolled in schools compared to the boy (41%).
While highlighting some of the achievements of the Breaking Barriers Project, Mr. Samuel Ajayi, the Programmes Officer of HDI noted that the project has been able to achieve some form of improvement in school infrastructure.
In specific relation to one of the outcomes of the project, Mr. Ajayi said that “since 2018, there has been progressive increase in the size of budgetary allocation to education in Lagos State and increased support to children with disability, though not as much as expected.”
He also added that there has been “improved capacity of SBMC members, coalitions and unions to engage and demand quality and inclusive public education in the state.”
Ajayi thereafter noted that despite the rounding off of the project, different stakeholders need to continue to break the barriers with a view to ensuring that the gains of the project are sustained.
On her part, Kyauta Giwa, National Coordinator of the Breaking Barrier project, appreciated the support received from the Lagos State government while also appealing for more support to sustain the gains as well as attract more impactful projects to the State.
“I know the Lagos State government screens NGOs that they interact with, but the state needs to be more strategic about this and ensure that we open our doors to development partners,” Giwa added.