By Edward Adamidenyo, Abuja Bureau Chief
The United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has launched its Opportunities to Learn Activity in Borno and Yobe states to ensure that out-of-school children and youth in the northeast of Nigeria are safely able to gain foundational literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional learning skills.
These skills will enable children and youth affected by crisis and conflict to progress to higher levels of education, training, or engagement in the workforce.
A statement by the US Mission in Nigeria disclosed that the USAID awarded $25 million activity to the International Rescue Committee, leading a consortium comprising Plan International, the American University in Nigeria , Inclusive Development Partners, and Restoration of Hope Initiative.
In her remarks at the launch of the event, Katie Donohoe, USAID Acting Mission Director said, “The program will strengthen the ability of education authorities in Borno and Yobe states to meet the challenge of rebuilding a ravaged school system and provide learners with a chance for a quality future.”
USAID noted that the education crisis in northeast Nigeria remains an obstacle to strengthening resilience, development, and peace in the region. Children and youth in Borno and Yobe face protracted conflict, forced displacement, economic uncertainty, food insecurity, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors contribute to widespread poverty, lost livelihoods, and years of education loss.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the vast majority of the 10 million out-of-school children live in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states. More than half of them have not received any formal education.