The federal government has revealed plans to embark on a national rollout of the accelerated basic education programme to enable disadvantaged children between the ages 10 and 18 have access to education.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who made the revelation when he received the new curriculum developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) for Accelerated Basic Education Programme (ABEP) from the Executive Secretary of the Council, Prof. Junaidu Ismail, in Abuja, stated that all stakeholders would be carried along to ensure the successful implementation of the programme.
Adamu, who lamented the high level of illiteracy in the country, stated that the projection of the federal government Is that in the next five years, the country should attain 90 per cent literacy rate with the accelerated programme and other programmes put in place by the ministry.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Sonny Echono, the minister stated that obsolete curriculum posed a big problem to quality education in the country, adding that the review of basic education curriculum would be taken into consideration.
He revealed that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has commenced a review of the curriculum of universities, adding that this would be ready soon.
“100% of subject areas have had their curriculum reviewed in our university and the national public launch is planned soon. A similar thing is being done for National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
“We are pleased that NERDC is focusing on the vulnerable population. The national rollout will start with other sister states of Yobe, Adamawa and other endemic states like Zamfara, Benue, and even Ebonyi and across the country to ensure that the number of Nigerians who are considered illiterates will tinker down within a short time.
“Our initial projection in the next five years is that we should attain 90% literacy rate and we will work assiduously towards that,” he said.
While speaking on the programme, the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof. Junaidu Ismail, stated that the programme was implemented in partnership with Plan International, under the EU-Borno project being funded by European Union.
Ismail revealed that the programme and curriculum were approved for implementation by the National Council of Education at its 64th meeting in Port Harcourt in 2019.
He added that the programme was piloted in Borno State with 54 learning centres, adding that over 8,000 learners have enrolled. “Preliminary result from the piloting shows that the programme is indeed a way out of the menace of out-of-school children in Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking, the Interim Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr. Robert Komakech, said the goal of the EU is to increase access to safe, quality and inclusive education opportunities for conflict affected children and youth in the country.