The Federal Government, on Tuesday, officially flagged off the implementation of the $20 million accelerated funding grant given by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for education in an emergency in Nigeria.
The grant was secured by the Federal Government to support the three North-Eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, where education architecture has been ravaged by activities of the insurgents.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who flagged off the implementation of the grant in Abuja, explained that the fund was meant to address the gaps in delivering education in emergency and inequities existing within the education sector in each of the BAY (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States).
He added the GPE Accelerated Funding would anchor on existing interventions by a range of education stakeholders to improve inequities in access and quality learning with a focus on foundational and transferable skills, and governance.
According to him, a total of 200,000 conflict-affected children, including those with special needs would be provided with critical life skills and psycho-social support; while 28 000 teachers would be supported to acquire requisite teaching qualifications.
In the same vein, 58 000 teachers would undergo different levels of professional development specifically tailored to meet their individual current and future needs.
He revealed that an implementation plan has been drawn up by the three states, stakeholders in an emergency including the grant Agent, United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Ministry of Education.
Adamu said: “This grant will focus on select strategic actions that are catalytic in improving the education architecture in the 3 focal states.
“Furthermore, the GPE Accelerated fund will be applied to selected interventions that will mitigate the challenges and respond to urgent educational needs emerging from the protracted crisis in the North East region, the COVID-19 pandemic and the gaps identified by the Joint Education Needs Assessment (JENA) of the Education Cluster as well as the policies and strategic priorities defined by the three States in the various Education Sector Plans (ESPs) and ‘State Education Sector Operational Plan’ (SESOP).
“Across the three states, the grant will reduce the number of out-of-school children, establish robust teacher preparation, professional development and recruitment systems, address protection issues, and strengthen leadership capacity for education in an emergency for long term sustainability,” he said.
The Minister added that each activity would include consideration for children within the poorest wealth quintiles to redress inequities due to poverty and displacement resulting from violent conflict.
“The overall targeted outcome of this joint partnership is to improve access to education through formal and non-formal approaches, improved learning outcomes of learning for conflict-affected children in a safe, healthy and protective environment in North-East Nigeria,” he said.
Commissioner for Education, Borno State, Hon Bello Ayuba, who spoke on behalf other benefitting states, assured the Federal Government and other stakeholders of prudent utilisation of the fund.