The terrorist group Boko Haram has had a field day for years now in the northern parts of Nigeria, leaving in its wake sorrow, tears and blood and a good measure of death in the bargain. The state worst heat by this scourge of society has been Borno state, virtually all sectors of the states economy face imminent collapse, worst hit is the education sector. According to reports, the Boko Haram crisis has had a crippling effect on Borno state’s education where both primary and secondary schools have remained closed for more than two years following the slaughter of a scores of teachers by the terrorist group.
To revamp the educational sector in the state, the European Union (EU) has pledged €20 millions, to help Borno state breathe life back into the education sector, the amount translates to approximately N8 billions. According to insiders, the EU, will be providing the fund in support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and Plan International (PI). Both international organizations are presently involved in various projects in the troubled state, according to the statement yesterday in Maiduguri, both organizations will be used as vehicle to execute projects in the troubled state and it is expected that over 150,000 children and 2,500 teachers will benefit directly from the projects that the funding will drive in the state.
According to the EU spokesman, the projects which will be spread over a period of three years, will be directed at providing immediate education services with a view to re-activating and strengthening the education system in Borno State, he said that the funds will go a long way to expand and deepen the already extensive EU humanitarian and development assistance being rendered to majority of the victims of violence and displacement in North-eastern Nigeria and in the same vein trying to address some of the underlying drivers of violence and extremism in North-eastern Nigeria.
A statement released by EU’s Head of Cooperation, yesterday read:
“This intervention has been designed to build on the EU’s Education in Emergencies support to North East Nigeria, but go beyond provision of immediate services to strengthen service quality and delivery, to help increase learning outcomes for girls and boys in the longer term.”
“Education is crucial for both the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by crises. For girls, education reduces maternal and child mortality and educated mother is more likely to have educated children.”
“The projects will target primary, secondary and Tsangaya schools, where classrooms will be rehabilitated and furniture provided, water points will be installed or repaired, and latrine cubicles constructed. Children will receive vouchers for learning kits, girls and young women will receive dignity kits to manage menstruation, and young people will receive vouchers for business start-up kits.
“Teaching kits, textbooks will be provided and over 900 primary and secondary teachers will be trained, the majority of whom will be employed by government. 36 schools will establish kitchen gardens and psycho-social resources will be brought into schools with referral for children with trauma. School Based Management Committee (SBMCs) will be refreshed, retrained and work with communities to engage in education advocacy.”