Kano — For young Khadija Garba Dodo, schooling ended with her having only three credits in her school leaving examination.
After discovering that her papers were not good enough to get her admission into tertiary institution and her parents were willing to pay for her to rewrite the exams, Khadija accepted her fate.
She remained at home doing nothing and waiting for the unknown. She never thought that luck will smile at her again.
The day came when the Early Child Development (ECD) school management training and empowerment was introduced by the Development Research and Projects Centre (DRPC) under its Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) programme in Kano State. Khadija said she quickly grabbed it!
After undergoing the training on ECD school management, Khadija is now a proud owner of ECD School with over 115 pupils and still expanding.
With this experience, Khadija said, the failure of examination is not an excuse for any girl to become redundant.
She said, "I never thought life can be this interesting. When I found out that I got only three credits I knew my study dream had come to an end because no one would pay for me to rewrite the exams.
"But with the training I got from DRPC, my hope was restored. I now earn income that can sustain me and also finance my educational pursuit in the future as an entrepreneur."
On her plans, the budding educationist said, "I want to study more and become an educationist in the future and I hope my school will grow to become one of the best in our community. There are other girls like me who have seen the light and whose hope for a brighter future has been rekindled through this project."
Experts in the education sector said it has been the practice that, when examinations like WAEC or NECO disappoint a child especially girls, only few give it a try again. Many others would remain at home and wait to get married.
A Kano based educationist, Malam Idris Basheer, confirmed this and gave more reasons saying, not all parents can afford to pay the examination fees for their wards to rewrite the exams, taking into consideration the present economic hardship.
Basheer added that, another issue is that of the nonchalant attitude towards the girl child education.
"It is apparent that, in this region the girl-child education has not been given the deserved attention and that is why many parents don't think of allowing their girl-child to rewrite examination after first attempt," said Basheer.
But it was based on this that DRPC came up with its programme. They invited girls who had three credits in O' level exam and were staying at home idle for screening so that the successful ones can get ECD support items and take off fund to enable them establish their ECD schools.
Basheer said: "After the training, DRPC provided them with materials and start off fund to begin their Community based ECD Schools where they charge a little amount as school fees."