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AYGF Enrolls 30 Vulnerable, Poor Children Into Primary School In Abuja Community

The Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has enrolled 30 poor and vulnerable out-of-school into LEA Primary School, Karonmajigi, off Airport Road in Abuja. Dr. Arome…

The Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has enrolled 30 poor and vulnerable out-of-school into LEA Primary School, Karonmajigi, off Airport Road in Abuja.

Dr. Arome Salifu, Executive Director of AYGF announced this on Thursday in Abuja at the pre-paunch of the Bridging Learning Opportunities for Out-of-School Minors (BLOOM) project.

Daily Trust reports that BLOOM is a project initiated by the AYGF to directly address the core issues outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 4.

AYGF paid the fees of 65 at-risk pupils in LEA Primary School, Karonmajigi, and also distributed school supplies such as bags, exercise books and pens to the over 100 pupils.

According to a 2024 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria accounts for a large portion of the world’s highest rate of out-of-school children, with girls disproportionately affected, making up 62% of the over 20 million children lacking access to education. This represents a significant rise of over 96% from the previous estimate of 10.5 million in 2021.

This spike is driven by a complex interplay of factors, including poverty, insecurity from displacement due to natural disasters or violence, infrastructure decay, child labour, and harmful sociocultural norms that devalue formal education, particularly for girls.

As reported by UNICEF in 2019, the increase in the number of out-of-school children is particularly acute in States such as Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom and Taraba, where high rates of illiteracy persist.

Salifu said leveraging existing Almajiri schools and their potential to accommodate a large number of out-of-school children offers a strategic solution to increase access to education in Nigeria, capacity building and addressing underlying social issues.

“AYGF is committed to creating a sustainable and impactful model in line with the Almajiri model to improve access to quality education for out-of-school children aged 5-10 in targeted regions of Nigeria,” he said.

On the rationale for the BLOOM project, he said: “The current educational crisis in Nigeria demands a multi-faceted solution like the Almajiri system which was prevalent in the north. Established during the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012, the Almajiri school system was intended to address the educational needs of vulnerable children.

“The Safe Schools Initiative was also launched in 2014 in response to the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction, by the Nigerian government and the UN to improve the physical security of schools, enhance psychosocial support for students and teachers affected by violence and promote peace education to counter extremist ideologies. While these initiatives exist, funding limitations, sustainability concerns, and the need for strong community engagement continue to be a hurdle.

“The fight for quality education for all requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses security needs and underlying social issues.”

He said with the pre-launch of the BLOOM project, AYGF is dedicated to: “Getting Two Million out-of-school children aged 5-10 in Nigeria back to the classroom by 2030; To increase the capacity of 100,000 teachers in effective teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and child-centred learning approaches within five years.

“To reduce financial barriers to education by benefiting 700,000 households through conditional cash transfers.

“To improve school attendance and cognitive ability of 2 million out-of-school children through a school feeding programme.

“Increase the number of classrooms and learning resources by 10% in out-of-school populated and underserved areas to accommodate a higher enrollment of out-of-school children within 5 years.”

Folake Olatunji-David, Director, Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, said: “When children are out-of-school, it affects global and regional development as Nigeria accounts for the largest global and regional share of out-of-school children.

“With this project aiming to enroll 2million out-of-school children into the education system within the next five years, there will be a remarkable change in the narrative for the education sector.”

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