By Chinelo Chikelu
Since 2014, the World Bank in collaboration with the DFID and USAID is embarked on a $100m literacy project in five states in north-east Nigeria to support the Nigerian government in returning out-of-school children to the classrooms.
This is part of its efforts to changing education narrative in the country from simply getting children back to school to providing resources and materials required to keep them in school, to ensure they learn and add value to the society.
Selected states include are Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Sokoto.
World Bank Representative in Nigeria, Adetunde Adekola, said, “It is not enough to just bring children to school or for them to stay-in-school, but it is also Important that they learn. Literacy begins early in life. Before a child enrolls into a school, he/she already speaks, what they cannot do upon starting school is read and write what they are saying. That is the function of the school. The importance of literacy, at this point, is to help the child, no matter the language they speak, to be able to write and read it. Once, a child is able to do this, very early in life, he/she can add value to themselves and the society.”
The global bank will further develop an education and information data system to better manage, plan for and sustain quality and inclusive educative. Adekola said the lack of data on school enrollment in any academic year, affects planning and availability of resources which invariably affects learning and literacy amongst students.
“The World Bank is interested in strengthening the system to better educate our children, and part of the system is strengthening literacy such that it can add value to our society.”
“We need action to strengthen the literacy systems, policies, structures designed for the achievement of sustainable development goals, and to provide holistic approaches for improving inclusive and quality education. The speed of global technology and economic transformation requires an urgent action to sustain literacy, and ensure literacy and digital opportunities for all.
“The capacity of countries to adopt, disseminate technology practices depend on improved system of mass education, improved literacy education and an effective national information system,” projected Adekola.
With two years completed of the 4 years slated period for the project, Adekola says the project has been successful. Moreover, the bank will embark on an evaluative study of the impacts/success of the intervention.