In Nigeria, an estimated 10.5 million children are out of school, the most of any other country in the world, according to the Nigerian government. 60% are from the northern region of the country, where education and safety are threatened by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
The problem is not due to a high dropout rate. Rather, the issue is that many children have never had the opportunity to go to school in the first place. Around 75% of the children not in school have never stepped foot in a classroom.
To provide children with access education, Plan International is constructing over 70 Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) across different communities in Borno state with funding from ECHO (the humanitarian arm of EU), Irish Aid, Norwegian Development Aid (Norad) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Today we handed over 32 learning centres to the state and we hope that their maintenance will be spread across five local government areas in Borno state and overseen by the government.
explains Plan International Nigeria’s Humanitarian Response Manager, Katharina Witkowski, adding:
This is a very special achievement on the part of the Education in Emergencies team since we began operating in the north east in 2016.
42 other learning centres are currently under construction by Plan International and will be completed by July 2018. “We intend to reach 154,000 children in North East Nigeria with quality education in a protective environment by the end of 2018.” Katharina says.
At an official ceremony to hand over the TLS to the government, Ali Abatcha from the State Universal Board pledged the government’s support to Plan International’s work. “We thank Plan International for supporting the government with the schools. We not only appreciate you for this but we will take full responsibility for maintaining them for the good of our children.”
Plan International is playing a key role in supporting education, nutrition and protection services for children and families affected by the violence in north east Nigeria. We implemented our humanitarian response in Borno and Adamawa states in 2016 providing lifesaving support to displaced populations, especially children, girls and women.