The Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) programme is working to ensure in-school girls successfully transition to the next phase of their education while the out-school girls have the opportunity to build their functional literacy and numeracy skills, amongst others.
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The first phase of the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) programme was implemented between 2013 and 2016 across four Nigerian states of Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and FCT. The programme was implemented by Mercy Corps; the global humanitarian nonprofit, in collaboration with 3 Nigerian civic organisations and was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its Girls Education Challenge (GEC) Fund.
Now, having successfully implemented the first phase of the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE I) programme – which helped improved the learning outcomes and economic status of thousands of marginalized Nigerian adolescent girls – Mercy Corps has since commenced preparations for the implementation of the second phase of the programme across the four project states including Kano, working with their local partner, the Society for Women Development and Empowerment of Nigeria (SWODEN).
The second phase of the Educating the Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) program which will be implemented between April 2017 and March 2020 is also targeting adolescent girls and will again be funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Fund. GEC’s vision is to help up to a million of the world’s poorest girls improve their lives through education.
“ENGINE I has succeeded in improving the learning outcomes of girls including their confidence but it didn’t fully achieve its learning targets,” says Shweta Shah, the Program Manager of the ENGINE programme. “ENGINE II is aimed at improving learning outcomes of in-school and out-of-school girls and their transition to higher levels [of education] or other income generating opportunities. We want to ensure sustainability by ensuring all our activities are owned by the government.”
Shweta said the ENGINE I programme which was implemented across 4 states had reached over 21,000 girls adding that ENGINE II was aimed at achieving a ripple effect such that if a marginalized girl was economically empowered she would have enough money to sustain her life as well as cater for her family.
While speaking at a recent Kano state education stakeholders’ meeting aimed at enriching the design of ENGINE II for better outcomes, Danlami Garba, the Permanent Secretary, Kano State Ministry of Education said “lessons learnt from the implementation of ENGINE I need to be utilized in improving on the second phase. We have now been able to identify key areas where Mercy Corps and the state [Kano] need to work on to ensure the program [ENGINE II] succeeds.”
The sensitization meeting was organized by Mercy Corps to carry all stakeholders, particularly policymakers, along in the conceptualization of the second phase of the ENGINE programme to achieve better outcomes when implementation begins, says Mustapha Chiroma, the Programmes Manager of SWODEN.
Also speaking about the ENGINE programme, Garba Gombe, Director of the Kano Educational Resource Development (KERD) said the ENGINE I programme had helped improved the educational and living standards of marginalized girls in the state through its financial literacy and entrepreneurial components adding that ENGINE II would help consolidate and expand on the achievements of ENGINE I in the areas of financial literacy as well as guidance and counseling.
“Various government agencies have provided their inputs including how they can key into the implementation of the programme and we are going to incorporate it in the project’s implementation. Kano came first in the implementation of ENGINE I with 94% performance scores. We are targeting 100% this time around,” says SWODEN’s Chiroma.
“Our interventions in ENGINE I reached 6,557 marginalized girls, 3646 of whom where in school while 2928 were out of school. During the first cycle of the programme we targeted marginalized girls from 15 communities including in- school girls, they were drawn from 13 schools of Dala, Fagge, Ungogo, Kumbotso and Tarauni LGAs of Kano state. In the second phase we targeted girls from 47 communities including in-school girls from 25 schools.”
This time again, Mercy Corps is leading the implementation of ENGINE II in Nigeria, and will be targeting marginalized in and out of school girls aged between 19 – 23 years; they will also be working with SWODEN to implement the program in Kano.
Therefore, ENGINE II is working to ensure in-school girls successfully transition to the next phase of their education or complete their current education cycle and enter the workforce through enhanced learning experience and an improved enabling environment while the out- of-school girls whose schooling has been interrupted, have the opportunity to build their functional literacy and numeracy skills while also building assets and diversifying income sources.