New education program targets 2 million children in Nigeria


November 10, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 2 million children in three critical Northern Nigerian states will be the target of a new program to improve reading skills and increase access to basic education, Creative Associates International announced today. (

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year program called the Northern Education Initiative Plus will improve states’ ability to provide both greater access and higher quality basic education in formal and non-formal schools—especially for girls, out-of-school children and other marginalized groups.

Led by Creative Associates International, NEI+ will be implemented in the Northern states of Bauchi and Sokoto. A third state will be announced.

“By strengthening the educational system itself and working closely with teachers, parents, communities and civic society organizations, NEI+ will ensure both short-term and long-term benefits to schools and the students they serve,” says Creative’s Semere Solomon, who will direct the program.

Solomon notes that 30 percent of school-aged children in Northern Nigeria do not have access to basic education. This is attributed to a combination of cultural beliefs, lack of educational facilities and insecurity as a result of the insurgency.

Learning outcomes are also poor for a variety of reasons. For example, pre-service institutes in Nigeria do not have early grade reading instruction in their curriculum. Furthermore, existing educational materials—which are already in short supply—do not incorporate modern pedagogical approaches.

Federal, state and local education authorities have agreed to participate in the five-year NEI+ project. More than 30 Nigerian local nongovernmental organizations will be involved in the program.

Partnering with Creative are three U.S.-based international organizations—Education Development Center, Florida State University, Overseas Strategic Consulting—and four local organizations—Value Minds, Association for Education Development Options, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria.

Creative’s years of work in Nigeria

Creative has been working on a variety of specialized development projects in Nigeria for more than a decade.

“NEI+ builds on Creative’s programmatic and operational strengths in the region, including our extensive relationships with communities, NGOs, traditional and religious leaders and government officials,” says Creative President Leland Kruvant. “We are honored that USAID selected Creative to carry out this important project in this vital region of Africa.”

In addition to NEI+, Creative is also implementing a USAID-funded initiative to support internally displaced students in three Nigerian states. More than 2.2 million Nigerians have been displaced from their places of origin, the largest concentration in Africa, as a result of the insurgency.

Launched in 2014, Education Crisis Response program is expanding access to quality and protective non-formal education and alternative education opportunities for out-of-school children ages 6 to 17 and reducing the burden on local schools already stretched thin by limited resources.

It is implemented by Creative and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), along with local nongovernmental organizations, such as Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria.

To learn more and view videos, please visit the multimedia special report. (

About Creative

Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace.

Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has active projects in more than 15 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.

Started by four enterprising women with diverse backgrounds, Creative has grown to become one of the leaders among the U.S. private sector implementers of global development projects. Creative is minority owned and operated.

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