In the past twenty years, education rates in Nigeria have been the center of change, but not always for the better. After years of educational prosperity, rates dramatically dropped to approximately 70 percent in 2008, and continue to be low today.
Creative, an international development organization has created a program to boost education in Nigeria. According to the organization, “the three-year Nigeria Education Crisis Response program works to expand access to quality learning opportunities for displaced, out-of-school children and youth ages 6 to 17.”
Creative has joined forces with more than 30 Nigerian organizations as well as traditional and religious leaders in order to enhance efforts. Following this pattern has helped to provide safe and accessible classes as well as increase community support.
The organization notes that “using a proven curriculum, the displaced children receive basic education, with an emphasis on math and literacy. In addition, the centers provide vital psychological and social services to the often traumatized pupils—many of whom have witnessed horrendous acts of violence.”
Another key element to the Education Crisis Response Program is the class size and finding individuals who gain training to become teachers. These teachers are found in the communities where displaced children reside, then trained in order to prepare them for the hard task of helping traumatized children catch up.
One of these teachers, Jummai Dauda, said on the subject, “When I started with them, most of them have forgotten almost everything they had been learning in their schools, because when they came, they cannot read, they cannot write.”
“The type of education they do receive is a good one,” says Halilu Usman Rishi of Bauchi’s State Education Secretariat. “That is going to [pave the] way for them to mainstream to a formal system of education.” The goal to mainstream students by has been scheduled for 2017.
In order for this to happen, the program has enlisted and trained government officials to continue on once the program phases out.
– Katherine Martin