The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has called for a multi-stakeholder approach for proper utilisation of the new e-learning platform, Nigeria Learning Passport.
Serekeberehan SeyoumDeres, Chief Officer in Charge, UNICEF Nigeria, Kano Field Office, made the call on Tuesday at the launch of the Nigeria Learning Passport in Kano.He said that the Nigeria Learning Passport, an online, offline, and mobile learning platform, would provide children, teachers, and parents with resources for learning at home and in school.
“As we all know, education has faced enormous issues across the world.
Even before COVID-19, the globe was falling off track in realising SDG4.”“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, sporadic school closures hindered the learning of 50 million students in Nigeria alone and more than 5 million in Kano state.
“Frequent attacks on schools including abduction of children, who should always be safe in school, had complicated the fear of the unknown.
“But together, we are finding solutions.
While nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction with their teachers and peers in the classroom.
”The Nigeria Learning Passport he explained, would provide learning opportunities when face-to-face interaction isn’t feasible or when children need to revise and bridge the learning poverty gap.
The UNICEF representative then, commended the state government for unveiling the creative digital learning solution, saying that it would increase access to excellent learning for all pupils.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigeria learning passport is an online learning platform created for Nigerian pupils, with availability of diverse languages and contents.
The innovation was created in partnership between the Federal Ministry of Education, the UNICEF, Microsoft and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The Katsina State Government has partnered the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to enroll about 10,000 learners and teachers on an E-learning platform, the NIgeria Learning Passport (NLP).
The NLP Coordinator in Katsina, Malam Usamatu Mohammad-Gona, disclosed this to journalists shortly after inaugurating the platform on Sunday in Katsina.
According to him, the NLP is a digital learning platform with online, mobile and offline capability that enables continuous access to quality education.
Mohammed-Goni noted that the e-learning platform targets the enrollment of 4.5 million learners and 135,000 schools across the country by the end of 2023 and 12 million by 2025 respectively.
He added that the NLP had launched the NLP in Katsina State with the target of enrolling 10,000 learners and teachers before the end of the year 2023. He added that the learning passport was delivered by UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Education and powered by Microsoft.
According to him, the funding and support which is from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), is free of charge for all learners across the state.
“The platform makes learning possible even outside the confines of a school which will help address the spiralling numbers of school-age children unable to learn, especially in states where insecurity hinders access to schools.
“Importantly, the learning passport provides an opportunity for teachers to access quality teachers’ guides and resources and digitised capacity building modules meant for teachers while supporting them to deliver lessons in class.
“In Katsina, we are targeting 10,000 learners and teachers across the over 300 schools in the state before the end of November 2023. “And also, 30,500 teachers and school leaders are being trained on the use of the NLP and on how to integrate technology in classroom instructional practice”.
The Bauchi State Government on Thursday inaugurated the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP), to strengthen learning process for pre schoolers in the state.
The programme is being implemented in collaboration between the state government, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and development partners.
Dr Tushar Rane, Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Bauchi, who spoke at the inauguration of the programme in Bauchi, said it would ensure children acquire the right skills.
He said the NLP is an online, offline and mobile learning platform designed to enhance access to digital learning skills for students, especially during the COVID -19 pandemic.
“The NLP will also help to access a variety of high quality learning content.
”The learning passport will help respond to the needs of every child.
With online, offline and mobile options, it can help us reach the most vulnerable and marginalised learners,” he said.
He said the project is being powered by Microsoft and funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in collaboration with UNICEF and Bauchi government.
Rane said the pandemic interrupted education, adding that the learning passport would provide solution to children’s education.
According to him, lack of connectivity affects low-income countries and rural regions in greater proportions and puts children as well as youth in such areas at greater risk of missing out on education.
He reiterated commitment of the UN agency towards creating initiative to strengthen collaboration and accelerate progress on digital learning and skills in the state.
The UNICEF official commended Gov. Bala Mohammed for his support to the development of the education sector.
In his remarks, Mohammmed commended the partners for the initiative, and stressed the readiness of the state government to key into the scheme.
Represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Ibrahim Kashim, the governor said UNICEF has been partnering and assisting the state on viable programmes.
“We adopt the Nigerian learning passport as a solution to improve learning outcomes in the state,” he said, adding that the state government had embraced technology to run the education sector.
By Ishaq Zaki
Zamfara's government, together with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and UNICEF, on Wednesday launched a back-to-school and safe-to-school campaign in Gusau.
The campaign ends the state's school closures due to insecurity and the COVID-19 outbreak.
The launch of the campaign was organized by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and UNICEF Nigeria.
GPE and UNICEF are supporting the inclusive and gender responsive enrollment campaign for the Back to School Campaign and the Safe Reopening of Schools in the Maradun and Kaura-Namoda local government areas of the state.
The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alhaji Kabiru Sani, ended the campaign on behalf of Governor Bello Matawalle.
He said the closure of schools was one of the main setbacks in the state's education programs.
He said the COVID-19 epidemic and insecurity have disrupted the state's political, social, economic, religious and financial structures.
“We are all aware of the negative effects COVID-19 has caused on our children's education in Zamfara.
“It is in light of this that we are gathered here today to thank GPE, the Federal Ministry of Education and UNICEF for providing this commendable intervention in Zamfara.
"It is however worrying that after the end of the lockdown of COVID-19 and the problems of insecurity diminished, the children were still not going to school," said Sani.
UNICEF consultant Dr Ahmad Hashim called the report timely, adding that UNICEF has supported Zamfara over the years, especially in the area of girls' education.
“We provided financial and technical support to the state; we have trained over 10,000 teachers.
“Millions of naira have been spent by UNICEF in the form of cash transfers to vulnerable children in the state aimed at reducing the number of children out of school.
“Before our intervention, Zamfara had more than 500,000 out-of-school children, but thanks to the efforts of the government and the support of partners such as UNICEF, that number has dropped to 300,000,” Hashim said.
He congratulated Governor Matawalle for providing matching funding to UNICEF.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that various speakers at the event expressed the need for the government and all stakeholders to take action to ensure the safe return of students to school in the State.
By Carl UmegboroEducation is one of the most important investments a country can make in its future. It is in the light of this that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) supports developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality education. Invariably, education is a powerful agent of change, and improves health and livelihoods, contributes to social stability alongside drives long-term economic growth. Aside featuring as number four of the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, the success of all the other goals is dependent on it.The Girls for Girls strategy fondly tagged G4G is an initiative of the third Phase of the Girls’ Education Project (GEP-3) being implemented in northern Nigeria through a collaboration between UNICEF, UBEC, FME and NMEC with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The goal of GEP-3 is to support the Government of Nigeria to expand access to one million girls in northern States where a large number of girls are out of school. The project currently covers the 5 States in the North of Nigeria viz. Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara, with the highest proportion of out of school girls.It is also targeted to give a boost to girls’ acquisition of skills for livelihoods. The project has three (3) key outputs which include increased enrolment and retention for girls in basic education; improved capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning for girls and improved governance to strengthen girls’ education. The G4G mentoring strategy is essentially intended to contribute to outputs 1 and 3 of the GEP3 programme.As committed stakeholders and partners in progress, Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), Niger State Agency for Mass Education (NSAME), State Ministry of Education (SMoE), and the Niger State College of Education (NCoE) have commendably continued to contribute in their respective capacity to boosting girls’ education.Likewise, HilWA, SBMC/CBMC and Mothers’ Associations deserve encomiums. In fact, the need to support girls to enroll, remain and complete basic education informed the establishment of Mothers’ Associations in schools in Niger State. Laudably, the members alongside volunteer mentors were at the forefront of creating awareness and sensitizing community members with recommended materials during the peak of COVID-19.From record, UNICEF GEP-3 Niger State sumptuously supported the development of communication and educative materials to communities within the nine intervention LGAs in the State for prevention and containment of COVID-19 pandemic. With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lock down, the state with support from UNICEF developed a costed education COVID-19 contingency action-plan to ensure continuous learning for children. It also facilitated house-to-house sensitization on COVID-19 and the provision of technical assistance to partners in all intervention LGAs and the state level respectively.The record also shows the Girls’ Education Project (GEP-3) in the state which recently moved into its 9th year has made remarkable impacts, and particularly witnessed a great leap in project implementation as the expansion LGAs (Edati, Kontagora and Shiroro) came fully on-stream last year, 2019. The period witnessed greater involvement of youth whose capacity was improved on advocacy skills which enabled them to organise several rallies and engagement of political leaders to demand for safe and quality education in Niger state.Key achievements include advocacy for Girl’s Education in Niger state that received a visible boost through a capacity building exercise for youths on advocacy skills and engagement with political leaders on increased demand for safe and quality basic education. Furthermore, there’s a boost on number of facilitators providing guidance and training during He-4-She training session. Similarly, six HiLWA members from the state had their capacities developed in leadership skills and aspirations for leadership roles in the state.In the period under review, 3,331 girls acquired basic knowledge on leadership and life skills acquisition for girls to build their confidence in advocating for their rights to be educated while 3,182 boys under the ‘He-4-She’ programme had their capacities built on positive masculinity to support girls to enrol, stay in school, transit and complete education. This was achieved through series of trainings delivered in the review period. A number of 7,570 girls were registered and are participating in 460 established ‘Girls-4-Girls’ (G4G) groups across 9 LGAs in the 400 schools in Niger states with capacity of all G4G members built on leadership, life skills and vocational skills either through organised state level training or mentorship provided at school level. Also, a total number of 582 female mentors were empowered with knowledge and skills on monitoring and mentoring of ‘G4G’ groups across the 400 schools in 9 LGAs of Agaie, Edati, Gbako, Kontangora, Mariga, Mashegu, Munya, Rafi and Shiroro. In addition, 493 parents across the 6 LGAs were also sensitized on the importance of educating the girl child while129 girls were successfully enrolled back to school during the IDGC, last year. Also, 25 mothers acquired improved knowledge and capacity to advocate and support completion of quality education of their children through routine school and community support visit. (Quarter 2, Year 8- July- September, 2019). To crown it all, a total number of 1,081 girls from 12 Schools (6 Junior Secondary Schools and 6 Primary Schools) across 6 GEP-3 focus LGAs were sensitized on the need to overcome distractions, stay in school and remain focused while in school to achieve success and secure a better future for themselves during the 2019 International Day of Girl Child (IDGC). This success reflects visibly in Zumba Model Primary School, Zumba in Shiroro LGA. The pupils’ boldness, brilliance, fervour and astuteness speak volume. An American poet and bestselling author, Mattie J.T. Stepanek once said; “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”. Indeed, teamwork is the most efficient and effective way to achieve a common goal or complete a task without much stress.Umegboro, a public affairs analyst and Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (UK) toured Niger State on assessment of Girls’ Education Project-3.
Khartoum, Nov. 19, 2020 The World Bank Board of Directors has approved an education programme, supported by a US$61.5-million grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), for the Sudan Basic Education Support Project (BESP).
This constitutes the largest education financing project in Sudan, the Bank said in a news dispatch on Wednesday.
The project will enable Sudan to sustain and improve basic education for children, with significant support to teachers.
It will strengthen schools, community and government capacities to formulate policies and monitor progress at system level.
The project will also contribute to Sudan’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This programme comes in an opportune time because we are in the middle of a very difficult economic situation,” said Mohamed Alamin Altoum, Minister of Education of Sudan.
“The Project will certainly take us a good way towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Education (SDG4).”
The SDG4 looks at good quality education, and free and equitable education.
The funding will support efforts to improve student enrollment, retention, and reading proficiency in the early grades of primary education, covering all public schools.
It will give the support while prioritising investment in disadvantaged areas.
The World Bank said public school grants will be provided to disadvantaged schools to reduce education costs borne by parents, lowering the risk of dropping out, especially for girls.
The funding will also support volunteer teachers who are normally paid from community contributions, which are likely to decrease due to the economic crisis compounded by the impact of coronavirus.
“The World Bank is well positioned to support this project with focus on results-based financing given its considerable understanding and experience in engaging in education sector in Sudan,” said Milena Petrova Stefanova, World Bank Country Manager for Sudan.
To improve children’s learning environments, the funding will help purchase basic learning materials and equipment.
An estimated six million students will be provided textbooks, reading materials and reading support programmes.
Approximately 30,000 girls will benefit from improvements to the learning environment, including rehabilitation and construction of sanitation facilities, the Bank said.
Edited By: Vincent Obi
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday presided over a virtual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governors joined the virtual NEC meeting from their respective states.
At the last virtual meeting on Sept. 17, the council announced that 15 states had qualified to benefit from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for funding education as part of measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.
It listed the states as: Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.
Constitutionally, the vice president is the chairman of NEC which meets monthly to deliberate on the coordination of economic planning and programmes of various levels of government.
NEC comprises the 36 state governors, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Minister of Finance, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other relevant government officials whose duties revolve on the economy.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Obike Ukoh
The National Economic Council (NEC) says 15 states have qualified to benefit from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) funding for education as part of measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the sector.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State disclosed this while virtually briefing State House correspondents after the virtual NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.
The virtual NEC meeting was anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I am very pleased to announce that the Federal Government has put in place some financial incentives to assist the states in implementing the education COVID-19 plan.
“The states that have qualified are Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“These are the states that made two of the three criteria for GPE funding; this is the grant from the World Bank and other donors.’’
El-Rufai said that the Ministry of Education approved the closure of schools and tertiary institutions on March 19 before a formal lockdown was announced.
“Some actions taken so far to mitigate the learning loss among children are the education sector COVID-19 strategy and National Education Sector COVID-19 Response Plan in collaboration with parastatals, development partners, public health experts, and the Nigerian education group.
“The Federal Government also constituted a ministerial task force on COVID-19.
“The primary objectives of the COVID-19 education response plan are to ensure that all children continue learning through access to the best remote learning programmes and appropriate for each context to meet the needs of each child, including the most vulnerable.
“ Some may have access to the internet, but the poorest can get their lessons over the radio; some through television.
“So, the whole plethora of platforms was made available so that no one is left behind.’’
He said that the federal and state governments were working towards ensuring a safe opening up of the educational system.
The governor said, first, capacity must be built for teachers for ongoing development and deployment of technology in teaching.
According to him, teaching with digital technology is new and requires a lot of training as well as providing technical assistance in selection and delivery of online digital content and offline learning resources among others.
“Some of the measures to arrest the potential growth in the number of out of school children, arising from the situation we had before the pandemic and during the pandemic are as follows:
“Disbursement of the Federal Government of Nigeria, UBE intervention funds to states on equality basis to states.
“This is to enable them to implement tangible state based priority projects, including the building of schools or additional classrooms, renovations, rehabilitations, procurement of furniture and equipment etc with focus on enrolling more pupils or having more flexibility to do shifts.
“The Almajiri integrated Quaranic teaching school programmes to mainstream the Almajiri boys into basic education and eradicate the out-of-school children syndrome in northern Nigeria.
“Open schooling, which is principally aimed at reducing the number of out-of-school children in the country, among others, ‘’ he said.
El-Rufai said that, going forward, there should be a national training programme to equip all university lecturers in delivering blended learning.
The governor said that NEC also recommended accelerating and strengthening the management of an electronic digital identity management system for all Nigerians.
El-Rufai explained that such digital identity would aid easy enrolment, retention and completion of learners at all levels as well as curb fraud, forgery and alteration of certificates.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
The Kaduna State Ministry of Education says it has introduced weekly television and radio live chats so as to get feedback from learners and parents on its electronic learning ( radio and television) programmes.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Thursday.
NAN reports that the government had in April, begun a television and radio teaching programmes for students to learn at home due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Yayi explained that the live chats hold every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and features subject teachers so that the learners and parents can call and get instant feedback.
She said that the live chats were being supported by the World Bank-supported Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Nigeria Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP).
The live chats provided the opportunity for teachers, pupils and students, including parents and relevant stakeholders to interact.
“It’s a call-in programme for pupils and students to call and ask questions, while parents and stakeholders make observations and suggestions on the way forward.
“The state government will continue to initiate ideas that will improve the delivery of quality teaching to our children via electronic platforms to keep them learning at home,” she said.
The permanent secretary added that the GPE and NIPEP had also supported the training of teachers on internet services and the use of online platforms like Zoom and Google class for virtual teaching.
“We will continue to improve in the delivery of e-learning to our children while we await the reopening of schools when it becomes safe to open schools,” she said.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) on Thursday announced an initial contribution of 60 million U.S. dollars for five new grants to support the education of up to 30.5 million children in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia affected by coronavirus-related school closures.
The fund will ensure countries can benefit from learning and best practices, said GPE in a statement sent to Xinhua in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub.
"GPE's COVID-19 education grants will help our partner countries ensure that all girls and boys can keep learning through distance education options that reach everyone, and support teachers and schools so that the most vulnerable children are not left behind," said Alice Albright, GPE's chief executive officer.
"Even short disruptions in learning can have a devastating impact, especially for girls and the most marginalized," Albright added.
The five grants, according to GEP, will boost governments' efforts to ensure that children can continue learning while schools are closed, support teachers and parents to provide quality learning at home and meet children's psycho-social needs.
It added that GPE funds will ensure that remote learning reaches the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, including girls, children with special needs and disabilities, and children without access to electricity or internet connectivity.
GPE is a partnership and funding platform that galvanizes global and national support for education in developing countries, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable children and youth.