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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In Kano, Group Trains Teachers and Principals on Effective Teaching Skills Through Out-of-School Enrollment Program

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A recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Nigeria’s education revealed that one in five of the world’s out-of-school children is Nigerian.

According to the report, despite primary education being officially free and compulsory, approximately 10.5 million children aged 5-14 in Nigeria still need to enrol in school.

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This is particularly concerning in the northern regions, where various cultural and socio-economic barriers present a formidable obstacle to reintegrating out-of-school children into the educational system.

In the face of these challenges, a groundbreaking initiative has emerged in Kano, spearheaded by the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigerian Education (PLANE).

The new initiative aims to revolutionise education in northern Nigeria by equipping teachers and other stakeholders in the educational sector. It seeks to increase school enrollment and learning outcomes in northern Nigeria.

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The Accelerated Learning (AL) project, launched in April 2020 and funded by UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and British Council, has received acclaim for its efforts to transform learning experiences in Kano’s colleges.

Led by a consortium of organisations, including DAI and the British Council, in collaboration with Teaching at The Right Level (TaRL), the AL project has gained momentum in Kano and has drawn praise from educators and stakeholders.

The literacy project in action

Structure

Beyond Kano, PLANE operates at the federal level and in five states, including Kaduna, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno. It focuses on strengthening education systems and optimizing government expenditures.

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Commenting on the structure of the initiative, the British Council said, “We are only focused on the Accelerated Learning (AL) part, which it implements with Teaching at The Right Level (TaRL) organisation’’.

The programme’s strategic interventions encompass foundational skills development, emergency education, and community-centered initiatives to foster sustainable improvements in Nigeria’s education landscape.

Beyond focusing solely on educating children, PLANE ensures that stakeholders, including teachers and guardians, receive immersive training to equip them with the necessary tools for seamless task execution.

“We attended a series of training. We started with a nine-day training. Then, after the nine-day training, we went on field trips and then for another four-day refresher training for this programme,” shared Mallam Abubakar Sanim, a teacher, reflecting on the comprehensive training sessions conducted as part of the AL project.

Some of the beneficiaries (teachers and principals)

School principals and teachers have also hailed the initiative as a game-changer in the educational landscape.

A school principal in Kano, Fatimah Muhammed, said, “PLANE Accelerated Learning is one of the greatest things to happen to education as far as my experience and involvement in the whole project are concerned. Because the accelerated activities are what is needed at this right time.”

Participants in the AL project have undergone rigorous training sessions, which have equipped them with the tools necessary for effective program implementation.

They added that the structured approach of the project, which includes student assessments and tailored instruction, has led to significant improvements in literacy rates among participating students.

Other teachers like Bashiru Ahmadu have also commended the project’s inclusive nature, particularly its dual-language method, which allows instruction in students’ mother tongues before transitioning to English.

He said: ‘‘Initiatives like the AL project offer hope for a brighter future. They demonstrate the potential to address systemic issues and pave the way for equitable access to quality education for all children in Nigeria’’.

Beyond Kano, PLANE’s interventions extend to federal and state levels, focusing on bolstering education systems and fostering sustainable improvements across Nigeria.

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