Nigeria: Over 11 million out-of-school children to benefit from the European Union project: EU Support to Early Recovery and Resilience in Borno State.
The Education component, restates readiness to partner the federal government through the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to draw up an implementation plan for the Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC).
Speaking at the end of a week-long Training of Master Trainers workshop on ABEC for selected teachers in crisis ridden states in the North-East in Abuja, Jummai Lawan Musa– Director of Programme Quality and Innovation of Plan International which leads the project consortium said they were prepared to support an implementation plan for a national roll-out.
This consortium’s membership includes Plan International, Save the Children and Gender Equality Peace and Development Centre with funding from the European Union.
While decrying the high number of children not in school and the continued danger it posed, Mrs. Musa said in the past 11 years of insurgency in the north east, some children born during that period never had access to education due to collapsed education system in some communities.
She explained that a curriculum had been designed by the NERDC for abridged programme for such children in order to be placed in their appropriate classes with a view to have them in schools.
She added that Plan International with funding from the EU was committed and ready to support the government to drive the implementation of ABEC initiative which was currently being piloted in Borno state by the project.
In a remark, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) Prof Ismail Junaidu said the Federal Government has concluded plans to develop a national implementation guideline on the Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) programme to address issue of out-of-school children.
Junaidu explained that the guidelines would be all inclusive where states and stakeholders including non-governmental organisations as well as development partners expected to key into the programme.
“The train-the-trainers strategy will give us the opportunity of training a larger number of teachers as we plan for a national rollout of the programme.“Currently, we are at the verge of completing the piloting of the programme in Borno State and environs.”
“It is important that I inform you that the result from the pilot-testing exercise gives further impetus to stay on course in our intention to use the programme as to bring down the number of out-of-school youths and children in Nigeria.”
“Let me also inform you that while some teacher support materials have been completely developed others are the completion stages” he said.
The executive secretary said one of the critical requirements for the successful implementation of the ABEC is the availability of teachers who were adequately prepared to effectively teach the contents of the curriculum.
According to him, ABEC is a specialised curriculum with unique implementation strategy which makes it very essential that teachers are given special training on the use of the curriculum.
“One way of getting teachers trained on the implementation of the curriculum is to train a selected number of teachers who will in turn train other teachers.
“Principally, the training is intended to provide adequate guidance to the teachers towards ensuring that the learners derive maximum benefits from the well-designed curriculum.”
“It will also give the teachers the opportunity to interact deeply with the curriculum and the programme structure,” he added.
Junaidu however commended Plan International led consortium for its commitment to the ABEC Programme in the country.
He added that since the beginning of the organisation’s partnership with the Federal Government on this project, it had continued to demonstrate unwavering commitment to the successful implementation of ABEC