To reduce the number of out-of-school children in the North East, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has trained over 400,000 school children in Adamawa and Gombe states on how to read.
Speaking, yesterday, in Yola, during the closing ceremony of the three-year programme spearheaded by the American University of Nigeria (AUN), the Agreement Officer Representative of USAID/Nigeria office, Lynda Ashaolu, said the Strengthening Education in North East Nigeria States ( SENSE) programme, was funded by USAID to improve the region’s standard of education.
She said: “SENSE has contributed to USAID’s objective of improving learning outcomes in Nigeria by providing access and delivery of quality early grade reading intervention to more than 400,000 learners. This programme involves 335 schools, training of over 9,700 teachers and providing capacity-building training for 660 education managers in Adamawa and Gombe states.”
She pointed out that USAID education strategy emphasised education as the foundation for every country’s growth and development trajectory.
“ Investing in high-quality education for all children and youth builds the human capital, which countries need to lead their development and growth,” she stated.
According to her, “another necessary key component for scaling and sustaining successful literacy programmes involves the use of local and community champions such as parents and caregivers, religious leaders, community Leaders and school leaders,” .
“Today, we will formally hand over the SENSE activity’s teaching and learning materials to USAID/Nigeria’s newest education activity,” she said.
Also speaking, Chief of Party/ Project Director, USAID, Dr. Audu Liman, said that AUN was combining its rigorous academic programme with a focus on proferring solutions to the challenges faced by communities.
He revealed that AUN received funds from USAID for the three-year programme in 2019 to implement SENSE in Adamawa and Gombe states, noting that the programme was a huge success.
The Interim President of AUN, Prof. Attahir Yusuf lamented the declining quality of education and promised the programme would be sustained for the good of Nigerian children seeking quality education.
He said the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s seven-month strike without any positive response from the Federal Government “is a great sign that the county’s education system is in trouble.”