The Plan International-led education and livelihood project in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, has recorded remarkable results, the organisation has revealed.

The organisation, in a statement, said the European Union-funded project, which began in 2019, supported the return and enrollment of more than 13,000 children to schools across Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Jere, Monguno, Gwoza, Magumeri, Biu, Mafa, Damboa, and Konduga.

Plan International also noted that 52,585 children received vouchers for learning kits, 25,462 girls and young women received dignity kits to manage menstruation, and 2,580 young people received vouchers for business startup kits.

It also supported the government of Borno State to review the School Based Management Committee (SBMC) policy.

It was gathered that through the project, 123 SBMCs in schools underwent refresher training.

The three-year project was implemented in partnership with Save the Children (SCI) and GEPaDc.

‘More than 13,000 children and youths who had lost some years of learning benefitted from accelerated learning, while 12,000 young people benefitted from life-skills training, and 3,010 received employability [and] business trainings’, Country Director of Plan International Nigeria, Charles Usie, said in the statement.

‘Teaching kits and textbooks were provided to 123 schools out of which 25 were Tsangayas, 73 were primary schools and 24 Accelerated Basic Education Programme (ABEP), while 430 teachers were trained and also received a monthly stipend.

‘As part of our measures at ensuring more value addition to the learning environment, 14 schools were established with kitchen gardens, and psycho-social resources were established in 73 schools for referral for children with trauma’.

Meanwhile, the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has applauded the development of a national accelerated basics curriculum, which is aimed at helping to cut down on the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

The curriculum was developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), with support from the European Union and Plan International.

Available figures show that over 10.2 million children of primary school age are out of school in Nigeria, accounting for 45 percent of the figure in West Africa.

In fact, more than 60 percent of all out-of-school children at the primary level are girls, as  girls’ education continues to decline due to the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and insecurity in Nigeria.

12 years of insurgency in northeast Nigeria has affected over 14.8 million people. Data from the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shows that approximately 645 teachers have been killed by insurgents, 19,000 teachers displaced and over 1,500 schools destroyed or occupied by armed groups.

Photo source: Plan International Nigeria

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