Over 946,000 Katsina children are out of school – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said no fewer than 946,000 children are out of the formal school education system in Katsina state.

UNICEF chief of field office Kano, Maulid Warfa, stated this yesterday in Katsina, during the 2019 end of year review meeting and 2020 states engagement planning workshop for Kano and Katsina states.

He said for Kano state, there were 1.49 million children are out of the formal school system, which is the highest number in the country.

According to him, the students/teacher ratio for Kano state is 103:1 while in Katsina state the ratio is 92:1.

For nutrition, Warfa said 60.9 percent of children under-five were stunted, while 1.7 percent, representing 423,934 children suffered from severe acute malnutrition in Kano state.

He said that for Katsina state, 62.9 percent of children under-five were stunted, while 2.1 percent, representing 312,182 children suffered from Severe Acute Malnutrition.

On Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH), he said 57.9 percent of people in Kano had access to improved sources of drinking water during the period under review.

Warfa added that three percent of people in Kano practiced open defecation, which he said is below the national average.

He explained that for Katsina, 59.3 percent of people had access to improved sources of drinking water, noting that 53.1 percent of households in Katsina had basic sanitation services.

On health, Warfa said Kano had the highest number of maternal mortality, while Katsina had recorded some progress during the period.

He said the meeting was aimed at reviewing the 2019 output indicators for the two states, so as to make improvements where necessary.

The UNICEF official said the participants would also identify challenges experienced in 2019 and set up the strategic direction for 2020.

Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Katsina state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Isyaku Ahmed, said the state government earmarked N1 billion as counterpart funds for UNICEF activities for 2020.

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