The European Union (EU) is expected to spend a sum of N32 billion on Youth Empowerment and Education in North-Western Nigeria, with specific concentration on girls in underserved and rural areas. This was statement was made by Samuela Isopi, the Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria, during a courtesy call on Professor Mamman Tahir, the Minister of State for Education, in Abuja, Nigeria. According to her, the programme will be launched on October 19, covering Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano States.
Isopi stated that the programme was designed to help the Nigerian government, at all levels of governance in the education sector by improving implementation and planning. Also, the strategy will aid the improvement of the Education Management Information System (EMIS). She explained that the funding, €40,000,000 (N32,958,400,000), will be used to strengthen sector governance, and EMIS, at all levels of government to guarantee equitable and inclusive quality and standard education. Also, the programme involves capacity development, technical assistance and policy dialogue.
It supports non-formal and formal skill development and education.
Additionally, the programme will enhance learning and teaching quality, and promote accessibility to safe learning environments, particularly for the girls in rural and underserved areas. The improvements include exploring home-learning Initiatives, digital technology integration, school materials provision, and teacher training. Furthermore, it supports non-formal and formal skill development and education for youth, particularly girls. This could be done through awareness campaigns, climate change education, and training in partnership with state governments in Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa.
Also, the programme will drive collaborations with private and public sectors to offer formal and non-formal skills development and education for youth, with more emphasis on livelihood opportunities and employment. Likewise, she added that the programme involved reduction of costs for families, climate change education, and awareness campaigns to rebuild social norms, delivering life skills training, promoting female youth participation, and mainstreaming out-of-school children. She added that the provision of vocational training and critical life skills for youth, and green jobs training are the expected results of the programme.
Implementation of Girls’ Clubs and safe spaces will be ensured.
More so, there would be a provision of alternative accelerated education programmes, which includes choices to transition to the formal and informal education system which are designed to the needs of learners. There will be non-formal education, skills for youth, and training which concentrates on livelihood and employment opportunities. Also, she affirmed that there would be the implementation of Girls’ Clubs and safe spaces, particularly to teach critical life skills, which will prepare and forge them for green jobs.
According to the Ambassador, it was stated that a lot of scholarships had been offered and is still being offered by the EU to Nigerian students, particularly in Degree programmes for Masters. Professor Mamman Tahir, the Minister of Education, expressed his appreciation concerning the Education and Youth Empowerment funding programme of the EU. He emphasized that one of the best things that should happen in Nigeria is investment in girls and young boys, indicating that the sector is the priority of the administration of the Nigerian president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
There are other states in the North with out-of-school girls.
However, the expansion and sustainability of the programme after the first five (5) years scheduled for its implementation was advocated for. He stated that there were other states, apart from the 3 states chosen, in the North-East, North-Central and North-West, where many girls have abandoned school. The minister announced that the challenge now cuts across all states in the country. The minister also made an observation of the structure of the intervention programme, realizing that the Federal Ministry of Education was not involved. Hence, he called for immediate correction of the defect.
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