EU launches E20m education support project in Borno
The three-year support projects; will expand and deepen the extensive EU humanitarian and development assistance to about 7.1 million victims of violence in the North east.
Head of EU in Nigeria, Mr. Kurt Cornelius while flagging off the projects in Maiduguri said: “The support is a response to the state government’ plea to assist in rebuilding programme for students, teachers and people affected by conflict in the zone.
He said the targeting by Boko Haram of schools, teachers and students in the state; had endangered their lives with massive losses.
“There is therefore the need to provide education in the North east to meet their immediate needs. This will create stability in the long run and reduce inequalities that contributed to the conflict.
Cornelius said over 150,000 children and 2,500 teachers will directly benefit from two EU funded education projects.
He explained that the implementation of education support projects would provide immediate services and strengthen the system in Borno state.
“This will go beyond provision of immediate service to strengthen service quality and delivery to increase learning outcome for girls and boys in long run,” he said.
According to Cornelius, education is crucial for both the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by crises.
He said education for girls reduces maternal and child mortalities, adding that; “An educated mother is more likely to have educated children.”
While implementing the projects, he said: “Through the project implementation by plan international, together with “Save the Children and “Gender Equality Peace and Development Centre (GEPaDC) 80,000
children and youth; who have dropped out of school would benefit from accelerated learning programme, while 12, 000 young people will benefit from life skills training, and 4.300 for employability and business training.”
He said the projects, will also target primary, secondary and Tsangaya schools, while classrooms will be rehabilitated and furnished.
Other highlighted projects include the installation of water points and repairs as well as construction of latrine cubicles.
He added that teaching kits and textbooks would be provided while over 900 primary and secondary schools will establish kitchen gardens and psycho-social resources.
Chief Field Officer, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Geoffrey Ijumba said education is crucial for both the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by the crisis.
He said ensuring the protection of children’s rights in humanitarian assistance benefits not only their future, but the societies in which they live. “Education plays a key role as it can give children a sense of normalcy and safety; to restore their hope for a better life,” he assured.
He said the EU funding would support a flexible and responsive learning programme that can effectively respond to the acute emergency education needs of children.
“The projects give us the opportunity to do more for the children of North east, they deserve more and we cannot afford to fail them as such would amount to failing Nigeria, “the UNICEF chief stated.
On his part, the state governor, Babagana Umara lamented that the damage and destruction that the sector suffered due to insurgency was enormous and devastating in Borno.
Umara noted that the launching of EU education project is significant, as it would help in addressing the challenges in the sector.
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