Summit deepens understanding of educational goals of Northern Nigeria program

By Boco Edet Abdul

April 27, 2016

Bauchi, Nigeria— More than 100 key government and nongovernmental representatives gathered at two separate state summits to agree on the best methods to implement the first year activities of the new Northern Education Initiative Plus program.

Meeting simultaneously in Bauchi and Sokoto states, summit members approved critical activities to be implemented in the first year of the program to reach 36,000 learners attending 800 non-formal learning centers, as well as training 11,000 teachers and learning facilitators in quality early grade reading instruction in both states.

“Our focus is to maximize the benefits of this project in the state ensuring it meets the aspirations of our communities,” said Dr. Muhammad Jabi Kilgori, Commissioner for Education Sokoto State.

Organizers said these stakeholders are pivotal to the success of the new Northern Education Initiative Plus program in the states of Bauchi and Sokoto. Fifty-one people met in Bauchi and 55 people met in Sokoto.

After attending the April 21 and 22 summits, attendees said they have a deeper understanding of the goals and objectives of the project.

Leading the process

Beyond government support, the summit enlightened stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities at different levels to strengthen education systems to increase the number of students enrolled in non-formal and formal schools and improve reading outcomes for primary grade learners.

“We will lead this process to ensure more children access education. We understand the expectations and we will work together to achieve this goal,” said Yelwa Balewa, Executive Secretary of the Bauchi State Agency for Mass Education.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Northern Education Initiative Plus is a five-year, Nigerian government-led program aimed at improving opportunities for more than 2 million children to access quality education and improve their reading skills.

The program will enroll and retain 1.5 million children in more than 6,000 primary schools across all Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) and more than 500,000 children, youth and adolescent girls attending Non Formal Learning Centers (NFLCs), Youth Learning Centers (YLCs), and Adolescent Girls Learning Centers (AGLCs).

The Northern Education Initiative Plus is supporting 10 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) each in Bauchi and Sokoto states where figures from the states’ 2015 Annual School Census indicate that more than 500,000 children are out of school and girls’ enrollment continues to be very low.

The Northern Education Initiative Plus is implemented by Creative Associates International.

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