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‘Dry season migration affects Jigawa literacy programme’

What informed the setting up of the Agency for Mass Education by Jigawa State government? The agency was introduced to address the level of literacy…

What informed the setting up of the Agency for Mass Education by Jigawa State government?
The agency was introduced to address the level of literacy among school dropouts, women and elderly persons. As the law provides, the agency needs to have five departments to cater for basic literacy for those who could not read and write; post literacy for those who had some elements of basic education because they could read and write; continuing education which targets school dropouts – as the ministry conducted survey and discovered about 9,000 school dropout (youth) in previous years; remedial programme which is similar to continuing education; and women education, which targets women who undergo both basic literacy and functional skills under the programme.
To achieve these, we have set up area coordinators offices in each of the 27 local government areas.
When did the ministry conduct survey and what was the outcome?
The Ministry of Education conducted this survey in 2008 and discovered that the number of school dropouts at both primary and secondary levels was alarming. So continuing education programme was introduced to target this group. We opened centres in each local government area and re-enrolled these students.
For remedial programme, a survey carried out indicated that about 15,000 students who completed their secondary school did not make the requirements to move to higher institutions. So in each local government we established a centre for remedial education for these students. We also have 50 basic literacy centres, 20 for females, 25 for males and five for nomadic adults.  
For basic and post literacy, we have five centres in each local government and four facilitators. The basic categories taught reading, writing and religion, while the post literacy has 8 – 10 subjects, because they are like the primary level and they are spending two years, while at basic they spend only nine months.
If they (post literacy students) pass their final exams they will receive primary school equivalent certificate. So within three years as an adult you can learn what a child will learn in six years.   
For continuing education programme on the other hand, we have one centre in each local government, with five teachers and one coordinator and so also the remedial education programme. They have the same structure; the only difference is the students.
On women functional literacy, there is also one centre in each local government area and four facilitators.
 We have 2700 facilitators for basic literacy and we pay each one N5,000. And the facilitators are secondary school levers, whom we have trained and employed. For remedial, we have 162 facilitators, we pay each N8,000 minimum while each coordinator get N10,000 as monthly allowance.
How do you finance the activities of the agency?
 First, we derive our finances from two sources: One, our annual budget as agency for mass education. In 2009 we were given N50m, 2010 N90m, 2011 N95m, 2012 N75m, and 2013 N74. Our second source is the local government councils. The local governments sponsor some centres. Out of the 50 centres we have local governments sponsoring 40 and they are giving us resources through the Ministry for Local Government. In 2009 they gave us N86m, 2010 N156m, 2012 N193, and 2013 N193.  
What are your major challenges?   
Our major challenge is consistency on the part of students. You can start a programme with over 50 students but end it with few largely because of socio-economic problems. It is tradition in this part of the country for people to, especially the less privileged, travel to other parts of the country in search for odd jobs during the dry season and this is affecting our programmes seriously.

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