FG, EU Introduce Programme For Disadvantaged Children To Access Education

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The Federal Government in partnership with the European Union (EU) has introduced an Accelerated Basic Education Programme to enable disadvantaged children of between 10 and 18 years have access to basic education.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu presented the pogramme to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in Abuja on Thursday.

Junaidu said the programme was to reduce to the barest minimum the number of out-of- school children. He said that the programme, which was flexible and free for enrollment would provide the recipients with equivalent, certified competences for basic education using effective teaching and learning approaches.

The NERDC boss said that the learning approaches would match their cognitive maturity.
He added that it would also provide pathways to mainstreaming learners into relevant levels of schooling based on proper profiling and effective instruction and learning.

According to him, piloting of the programme began immediately in 54 centres in Borno with over 8,000 learners enrolled. “Preliminary result from the piloting shows that the programme is indeed a way out from the menace of out-of-school children and youth in Nigeria’’

Also, the Interim Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr Robert Komakech, said the goal of the EU was to increase access to safe, quality and inclusive education opportunities both formal and non-formal for conflict affected children, adolescents and youth.

Komakech said that this would address the specific barriers of girls and boys in the view of improving retention and completion, achieving better learning outcomes.

He said that the Plan-lead consortium signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)for the development of a National Curriculum to cater for the educational needs of learners that had dropped out of school for one reason or the other.
Responding, the Minister of Education, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sonny Echono, said that all stakeholders would be carried along to ensure successful implementation of the Accelerated Basic Education Programme.

Adamu assured the country of the need to pursue the programme vigorously to achieve a 90 per cent literacy rate.

He added that the ministry would also support the national rollout plan of the programme throughout the institutions of learning in the country.

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