Under the Northern Education Initiative Plus, communities support and promote efforts that expand access to education and improve the quality of early grade reading instruction in Non- Formal Learning Centers and formal schools.
The project will strengthen existing community structures in Bauchi and Sokoto states and a third state yet to be determined to establish 11,000 Non-Formal Learning Centers which include Adolescent Girls Learning Centers and Youth Learning Centers to cater for the educational needs of out-of-school-children.
Children attending these centers will acquire literacy, numeracy and life skills that facilitate their transition to formal schools.
Communities leading change
Community mobilization activities are led by state Ministries, Departments and Agencies and local Non-Governmental Organizations chief amongst are Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All, Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria and Reading Association of Nigeria.
These Non-Governmental Organizations in collaboration with state institutions, Local Government Education Authorities and broad-based community structures mobilize communities to boost enrollment, retention and completion of basic education. They also encourage girls’ education and advocate for sustainable government systems to improve reading outcomes for primary grade learners in the states supported by the Initiative.
The project builds the capacity of these organizations to manage and monitor the Non-Formal Learning Centers. They in turn set up community structures such as Community Coalitions and Center Based Management Committees to hold centers and schools accountable for improved performance.
These Non-Governmental Organizations facilitate community education dialogues by organizing regular meetings where emerging issues are raised for discussion and redress. Some issues may require state or national attention, but the overall objective of these sessions is to create a feedback loop between the community and Local Government Education Authorities.
Promoting access to education and supporting the benefits of quality early grade reading instruction is enhanced through a variety of channels including house to house outreach, palace-based mobilization, town hall meetings, compound meetings and radio discussions.
Promoting reading culture
The Reading Association of Nigeria is being engaged to hold literacy and reading related conferences, competitions and workshops on best practices in literacy, early grade reading instruction, and setting up of school libraries.
This strategy will sustain community engagement and support for education. It will particularly build the capacity of community entities to measure progress in increasing opportunities for education and improving reading outcomes.