1.6m Children Out Of School In North East – UNICEF Warns

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that 1.6 million children in the North East are not attending school.

Phuong Nguyen, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office in Maiduguri, revealed this during a Foundation Literacy and Numeracy in the North-East Seminar held in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

She stated that UNICEF is dedicated to leaving no child behind in its efforts to accelerate education delivery in Nigeria.

She emphasised the importance of collaboration among the government, UNICEF, donor agencies, and other development partners who are already committed to raising awareness of fundamental learning and are eager to share innovative methods learned from implementing these programmes in the region.

She said;

At least 1.6 million children are out of school in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. Of those in school, 72% cannot read a simple text after grade 6. Without acquiring appropriate foundational and transferable skills, children fail to thrive in school and life.

Addressing the learning crises in North-East, and in Nigeria as a whole, requires us to examine the evidence of what works, explore partnerships with the State, NGOs, development partners and communities.

This seminar provides us with a platform to share evidence, experiences and to renew our commitment to improving learning outcomes of schoolgirls and boys.

Speaking at the seminar, Nguyen promised that UNICEF would bring together practitioners and experts, government officials, and civil society to discuss how Nigeria can best foster Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN), with a special emphasis on Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL), Kanuri, Arithmetic and Reading Intervention (KARI), Reading and Numeracy Activity (RANA), and the Accelerated Basic Education Programme (ABEP).

According to her, the seminar aims to raise awareness of FLN models and lessons learned from implementing fundamental learning programmes in the North East, focusing on the region’s ongoing humanitarian-development nexus.

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