Out-Of-School-Children: Nigeria To Develop Implementation Guidelines

In an attempt to tackle the growing challenge of Out-of-School-Children in the country, the Federal Government of Nigeria says it will develop a national implementation guideline on the Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) programme.

The guidelines according to government would be all inclusive where states and stakeholders including non-governmental organisations as well as development partners expected to key into the programme.

Ismail Junaidu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), stated this while speaking at a workshop in Abuja.

Junaidu in his presentation at the Workshop on Training of Master Trainers on ABEC organised by Plan International Nigeria for selected teachers in crisis ridden states in the North-East, said the train-the-trainers strategy will give us the opportunity of training a larger number of teachers as we plan for a national rollout of the programme.

According to him, “Currently, we are at the verge of completing the piloting of the programme in Borno State and environs”.

“It is important that I inform you that the result from the pilot-testing exercise gives further impetus to stay on course in our intention to use the programme as to bring down the number of out-of-school youths and children in Nigeria.

“Let me also inform you that while some teacher support materials have been completely developed others are in the completion stages,” he said.

The executive secretary said one of the critical requirements for the successful implementation of the ABEC is the availability of teachers who were adequately prepared to effectively teach the contents of the curriculum.

Junaidu further said that ABEC is a specialised curriculum with unique implementation strategy which makes it very essential that teachers are given special training on the use of the curriculum.

“One way of getting teachers trained on the implementation of the curriculum is to train a select number of teachers who will in turn train other teachers.

“Principally, the training is intended to provide adequate guidance to the teachers towards ensuring that the learners derive maximum benefits from the well-designed curriculum.

“It will also give the teachers the opportunity to interact deeply with the curriculum and the programme structure,” he added.

Junaidu, however, commended Plan International led consortium for its commitment to the ABEC Programme in the country.

He added that since the beginning of the organisation’s partnership with the federal government on this project, it had continued to demonstrate unwavering commitment to the successful implementation of ABEC.

In her remarks, Jummai Musa, director, Programme Quality and Innovation of Plan International Nigeria, decried the rate of out of school children in the country.

Musa said in the past 11 years of insurgency in the country, there were children that were born that period that had no access to education due to collapse education system in some communities.

She explained that a curriculum had been designed for abridged programme for such children in order to be placed in their appropriate classes with a view to have them in schools.

According to her, the number of out of school children is alarming, hence the need for well-meaning organisations to work with the government to address it.

She added that Plan International was committed and ready to support the government to drive the implementation of ABEC initiative.

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