13,000 Displaced Children Back In Classes As NGOs Close-out EU’s Education Program in Borno

As Governor Zulum hails EU, Plan International for developing an accelerated Basic Education Curriculum

The education component of an EU-funded three years project on Early Recovery and Resilience has supported at least 13,000 displaced children back to school in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, officials said.

The project, which was titled ‘European Union Support to Response, Recovery and Resilience: Education Component’, was a three years project implemented by a consortium of nongovernmental led by Plan International while Save the Children and GEPaDC are members of the consortium.

The programme was launched in 2019 to address the gaps in critical areas of education development in nine local government areas comprising Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Jere, Monguno, Gwoza, Magumeri, Biu, Mafa, Damboa, Konduga.

Plan International Director Quality Programs and Innovation, Ms Musa speaking at the event. Video credit: Abdulkareem/THT

Jummai Lawan Musa, a director of quality programs and innovation at Plan International, who represents the County Director, Charles Usie said her organisation as a lead consortium in the project was pleased to announce that the three years project has “enrolled more than 13,000 to school” across nine local government areas of Borno state.

She noted that 12 years of conflict in the subregion has affected over 14.8 million people, making it one of the worst global humanitarian disasters.

The country director said the closed program has cumulatively provided improved access to quality education for over 80,000 primary and secondary school pupils.

She said: “more than 13,000 children and youth who had lost some years of learning, benefited from accelerated learning, while 12,000 young people benefitted from life-skills training, and 3,010 received employability and business training.”

The Closed-out Project Team led by Mr Onimisus. Photo Credit: Abdulkareem/THT

The programme had also facilitated the rehabilitation and equipping of 182 classrooms with furniture, installation and repair of 82 water points and 550 latrines cubicle was constructed across 123 schools and 41 tsangayas.

Ms Jummai Musa said 52,585 children were given vouchers for learning kits, while 25,462 girls and young women received dignity kits to manage menstruation, and 2,580 other young people had received vouchers for business start-up kits.

To further strengthen learning in supported schools the Plan International country director said 123 conventional schools were provided with textbooks, while 430 teachers and given monthly stipends within the period under review.

A total of 123 school-based management committees were under the project supported to review their policies and helped to undergo training.

Director Quality Programs & Innovations

The EU-Consortium Lead in Borno state, Laban Onisimus, said the success of the three years project was that not a single penny from the €10 million funding for the project would be returned to the EU because “every amount budgeted had been expended.”

EU Team Lead in Borno, Kabiru Abass, had earlier called on the state government to grant automatic employment to the volunteer teachers trained by the project. He said: “This would help to reduce overcrowded classes and return children to school after dropping out.”

Accelerated learning curriculum excites Borno governor.

Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, had applauded the EU and Plan for developing a national accelerated basics curriculum “that will help to cut down on the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria”

Governor Zulum commended the organisations for idealizing the curriculum that was later developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) with support from the European Union and Plan International. The accelerated curriculum which is expected to be a template for any education emergency intervention in the conflict zone was piloted by the close-out EU project in Borno state. 

Rep of Governor Zulum, Abba Yuauf at the event.

Zulum, who was represented by a Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Abba Yusuf, thanked the EU for financing the project which he said; “renovated classrooms, constructed gender segregated latrines, new boreholes and distributed school bags, water bottles, biros, mathematical sets to 13, 800 students”.

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