More than 30 percent of school-aged children in Northern Nigeria do not have access to basic education. This is attributed to a combination of cultural attitudes, lack of educational facilities and insecurity as a result of the insurgency.
The quality of education also leaves much to be desired. Factors contributing to this include: inadequate teacher preparedness and low motivation, lack of quality teaching and learning materials, insufficient funding to education, and inadequate parental and community support.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year Northern Education Initiative Plus project is strengthening the ability of the states of Bauchi and Sokoto to provide access to quality education—especially for girls, orphans and children enrolled in nontraditional schools—and improve children’s reading skills for more than 2 million school-aged children and youth. A third state will be announced.
USAID’s Northern Education Initiative Plus uses a holistic approach addressing critical supply and demand factors that affect learning, teaching, management, parental participation and responsiveness to children’s needs.
Consistent with USAID Forward strategy, this project focuses on building programmatic ownership among federal, state and Local Government Education Authorities, as well as increases their commitment to quality early grade reading instruction and improved access.
The project is strengthening Local Government Education Authorities ability to better train and manage teachers, along with improving their capability to plan, budget and deliver on professional development, ensure school governance, mobilize community support for learning and the timely distribution of materials.
The USAID-supported program will train and equip about 45,000 teachers and learning facilitators who can reach children in schools and Non-Formal Learning Centers.
By incorporating early grade reading instruction concepts, techniques, practice, and materials into national teacher training programs, graduates will be equipped with a full set of instructional skills that have a direct and positive impact on their students’ primary school learning outcomes.
USAID’s Northern Education Initiative Plus will reach nearly 1.6 million children in first to third grades, along with more than 500,000 out-of-school children and youth attending some 11,000 Non-formal Learning Centers, Adolescent Girls Learning Centers and Youth Learning Centers.
USAID’s Northern Education Initiative Plus is implemented by Creative Associates International in collaboration with three U.S.-based international organizations—Education Development Center (EDC), Florida State University (FSU), Overseas Strategic Consulting (OSC)—and four local organizations—Value Minds, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN).