The US Agency for International Development, USAID, has partnered with Nigerian education officials and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to create safe educational environments for 200,000 out-of-school children in Borno and Yobe States.
While disclosing this in Abuja on Thursday September 9, 2021, the USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson, said the effort was aimed at marking the closing of a three-year US and UK government-funded activity that significantly increased safe and relevant educational opportunities for children and youth in crisis-prone environments in Nigeria.
He stated that an initiative, Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria (AENN), which was launched in 2018 had helped the government of Nigeria to create more certified and safe educational environments for girls and boys in Borno and Yobe in collaboration with major local, federal, and international educational establishments.
According to the director, the activity improved the literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills of nearly 200,000 out-of-school children in formal and non-formal settings, where more than half of them are girls.
“It is promising to see that of those girls and boys who participated in the new instruction throughout Borno and Yobe, nine out of ten were able to later transition successfully back into mainstream education despite missing school time because of conflict,” Dr. Patterson said.
He added, “A better educated Nigeria is a stronger, more prosperous, and ultimately resilient Nigeria.”
The director stated that the activity was designed to create a sense of safety for young people, and produced in local languages to increase children’s ability to learn and build resiliency from the surrounding conflict.
“The conflict-sensitive curricula were supplied in the Hausa and Kanuri languages in more than 900 accelerated education centers supported by AENN,” he said.
AENN provided conflict-sensitive training to more than 2,000 learning facilitators and another 600 school administrators who can continue to advance the learning opportunities in their respective communities.
To further AENN’s success and sustainability, materials from the activity have been adapted as part of the national Accelerated Basic Education Program curriculum package by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council and other partners in the region.
As Nigeria accelerates the priority of education, the US government will continue to support the government and people of Nigeria in their efforts to create equitable, safe, and quality learning opportunities for future generations.
AENN was implemented by FHI360 in consortium with Save the Children International and Via Mobile, as well as in close collaboration with the government of Borno and Yobe and community-based organizations.