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Digital learning reaches 400 communities

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By Mercy Kelani

UNICEF and Min. of Edu. produce Nigeria Learning Passport accessible to all.

UNICEF Country Representative to Nigeria, Mr. Peter Hawkins, stated at a flagship interview program in Abuja that the digital platforms intervention of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has enabled the provision of education access to 400 communities across Nigeria. It was also stated that UNICEF collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Education to produce Nigeria’s Learning Passport, the downloading of the full curriculum of 14,000 documents into an iOS App, which is accessible to anyone – teachers, girls and boys.

The organization has put effort into the expansion of the digital platforms for 400 communities and has been able to achieve this with its collaboration with IHS, giving access to communities without previous access. Connectivity is also not an issue as it happened almost immediately after the tower was set, providing the people with a means of accessing it. Also, the Children’s Fund in cooperation with IHS, Airtel, MTN and other partners are working hard in order to ensure that the curriculum and digital platform are accessible to children and making school-to-school connectivity a solid part of Nigeria’s future.

There is an increase in the demand for education in Nigeria.

Connectivity has been said to be really slow, however, in eight years, as stated, there will be an exponential expansion. The goal is to reach the region of 1,600 schools that will be granted access to some sort of connectivity in some form or type as it begins to expand in a considerable manner. During the interview, Hawkins emphasized the commitment of the Federal Government to safe school financing for the provision of continuous learning.

A core issue that is prevalent in the country, according to the interviewee, is the increase in the demand for education. As a result of this, there arises a need to critically examine the broken compact for education that exists between the state governments and communities. Despite the fact that about 70 percent of Nigerian children are not being engaged in the right learning at literacy and numeracy level, they still tend to achieve a lot.

The learning passport will give access to materials on numeracy & literacy.

In April, 2021, UNICEF organized a major conference that was based on safe school financing, however the federal government has taken steps towards it with the Ministry of Finance. Also in the same year, 2021, research was conducted concerning the situation analysis of the insecurity that surrounds education and the compact between the government and the communities. The research proved that the compact was broken due to the high demand for education/learning in the country is very high.

Every child wants to go to school, likewise every parent wants their children to be educated. What is broken within the system is the compact between state government and the communities and provision for education. Many other measures that were taught at the conference which will positively impact girls have been put into action. Hawkins added that the learning passport would grant Nigerian children access to materials on numeracy, literacy and knowledge that would enhance the improvement of the country.

Airtel & UNICEF announced a five-year pan-African partnership in Nov. 2021.

Prior to the expansion of digital platforms in 400 communities, Airtel Africa and UNICEF, on November 1, 2021, announced a five-year pan-African partnership to enable the acceleration of digital learning by connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free accessibility to learning platforms across 13 countries, one of which includes Nigeria. In addition, Airtel Nigeria and UNICEF Nigeria, being longstanding partners, planned to ensure the connectivity of schools in Lagos and Kano to the internet to enable digital learning.

Related Link

UNICEF: Website

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