The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has declared that its activity for safe and relevant educational opportunities for children in the crisis-prone regions of Nigeria has reached 200,000 out –of-School youth in Borno and Yobe States.
A statement from the US Embassy noted that the USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson made this known when she recently joined Nigerian education officials and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to mark the closing of a three-year U.S. and UK government-funded activity that significantly increased safe and relevant educational opportunities for children and youth in crisis environments in Nigeria.
Launched in 2018, Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria (AENN) helped the Government of Nigeria create more certified and safe educational environments for girls and boys in Borno and Yobe in collaboration with major local, federal and international education establishments.
The activity improved literacy, numeracy, and social emotional skills of nearly 200,000 out-of-school children in formal and non-formal settings, more than half of them 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 at the event.
She said further that “A better educated Nigeria is a stronger, more prosperous, and ultimately resilient Nigeria.”
Utilizing research conducted by USAID and its partners, 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.
Rebuilding the devastated school system also included addressing the gap left by the thousands of teachers who were forced to abandon their jobs in the Northeast. 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 now 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 U.S. 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.