The United Kingdom (UK) Aid via its Department for International Development (DFID) will kick-off a £170m new education programme Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria this year.
These are all part of the process to ensuring Nigeria’s achieves the SDG 4 – inclusive and quality education for all its citizens.
DFID Representative, Simmons Field, made the announcement at the 2019 Nigeria Annual Education Conference held in Abuja.
Addressing the crisis of learning in Nigeria’s education system and the importance of data in improving quality and inclusive education for all Nigerian children, Field says the programme will “use the best existing national and international evidence to enable more inclusive and effective state and non-state systems to deliver foundation skills for all children.”
While recognising that Nigeria has impressively expanded access to schooling in the past decades, she says learning crisis exists in Nigerian schools where many children graduate from primary schools without basic numeracy and literacy skills.
DFID, she says focuses on addressing the learning crisis at its root via supporting basic level learning for children.
The new programme, she adds, will build on the previous and existing support that UK has provided to Nigeria’s education sector via projects as Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), Support to Improve and Increase Service and In-service Teacher Education (TDP) Support to Low Cost Private Education, Support to Girls Education implemented by UNICEF and Education and Emergency Support in Borno and Yobe states.
According to an online source Dev Tracker, the programme will benefit about two million Nigerian children by supporting the federal government in selected states and non-state partners to improve teaching, school quality, education management and efficient delivery of education.
“Education is the key priority for UK. The UK places a high value on using evidence to inform planning and assess performance. Evidence helps us all to focus on the most critical needs, a guide to somehow respond to challenges and keep us accountable to the results that we have committed to deliver,” Field emphasises.
Meantime, the UN says it’s in a position to help Nigeria address the crisis in learning in her education system via its ‘elaborative and validated document the UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework 2018-2022’.
“UNESCO 2018 Education Global Monitoring Report states that many children are still out of school. Many in schools are not learning. Also, an increasing number of graduates are not adequately prepared. Quality education must be evidence-based and reflect a long term strategic and holistic approach to education towards the promotion of inclusive, equitable, quality and lifelong learning opportunities.”
UNESCO Regional Director and Representative, Mr. Yao Ydo, says the partnership signed by the UN and the Nigerian government is a UN’s collective support and response to the Nigeria’s development initiative with regards to economic recovery, growth plans of the SDGs, the African Union Agenda 2063 among others.
It also encapsulates Nigeria’s changing economy, social and environmental condition and is a “strategic framework to assist and address development challenges.