The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has partnered with the European Union and Plan International to design an Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) to provide an alternative basic education programme for overage children and youth who are out of school in Nigeria.
The programme targets disadvantaged children and youth who are internally displaced, street children, out-of-school boys and girls from age 10-18 who never enrolled in school or dropped out before completion of basic education.
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Speaking at the end of a week-long European Union-funded training of master trainer’s workshop on ABEC for selected teachers in crisis-ridden states in the North-East in Abuja, Director of Programme Quality and Innovation of Plan International, Jummai Lawan Musa, decried the high number of children not in school and the continued danger it posed.
She said in the past 11 years of insurgency in the North East, some children born during that period never had access to education due to the collapsed education system in some communities.
According to her, the curriculum had been designed by the NERDC for an abridged programme for such children in order to be placed in their appropriate classes with a view to having them in schools.
In a remark, Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof Ismail Junaidu, said the federal government has concluded plans to develop a national implementation guideline on the Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) programme to address the issue of out-of-school children.
Junaidu said the guidelines would be all-inclusive where states and stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations as well as development partners, are expected to key into the programme.
“The train-the-trainers strategy will give us the opportunity of training a larger number of teachers as we plan for a national rollout of the programme.
“Currently, we are on the verge of completing the piloting of the programme in Borno State and environs,” he said.
He, however, noted that one of the critical requirements for the successful implementation of the ABEC is the availability of teachers who were adequately prepared to effectively teach the contents of the curriculum.
According to him, ABEC is a specialised curriculum with a unique implementation strategy which makes it very essential that teachers are given special training on the use of the curriculum.
“Principally, the training is intended to provide adequate guidance to the teachers towards ensuring that the learners derive maximum benefits from the well-designed curriculum,” he said.