Commencing in October 2015 under funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year Northern Education Initiative Plus (the Initiative) project is strengthening the ability of Bauchi and Sokoto states to provide increased access to basic education—especially for girls and Out-of-School-Children (OOSC) —and to significantly improve reading outcomes for more than one million school-aged children and youths.
The Initiative employs a holistic approach, addressing a broad range of critical factors that affect learning, teaching, systems management, parental participation and community engagement. The project strategy focuses on strengthening the technical and administrative capacity, commitment and accountability of federal, state and Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) to provide effective English and mother-tongue based Early Grade Reading (EGR) teaching and learning to its pupils. Also, to deliver literacy, numeracy and life-skills to OOSC and youths and whenever possible mainstream them into formal schools.
In addition, the project is providing innovative, cost-effective Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions for making mobile money payments for Learning Facilitators (LFs), improve coaching and mentoring system for teachers/LFs, and maintaining efficient teaching and learning materials (TLMs) supply chain. The Initiative is building the capacity of LGEAs to plan, budget and administer schools, support and supervise teachers, deliver high-quality TLMs and mobilize community involvement for increased enrollment and improved reading outcomes.
The project is training and equipping Colleges of Education (CoEs) to include EGR concepts, techniques, practice, and materials in their curriculum, while playing a key role within the education sector to promote EGR policy and research.
An evidenced-based intervention, the Initiative continuously monitors program activities and assesses its delivery and results against established targets and milestones to improve project outcomes. The Initiative is expected to demonstrate significant improvement in EGR for approximately one million children in schools and for more than 400,000 OOSC attending some 11,000 Non-Formal Learning Centers (NFLCs), Adolescent Girls Learning Centers (AGLCs) and Youth Learning Centers (YLCs).
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).