The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through Excellence Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS) has trained over 1000 teachers in Benue State on Continuing Learning Alternate Home and Community-Based Platforms.
ECEWS Coordinator, Mrs Catherine Osho, said during the closeout meeting in Makurdi organised by UNICEF, GPE and ECEWS in collaboration with the Benue State government that the project was implemented in Katsina-Ala and Logo local government areas of the state.
Osho said the project was initiated to attend to out-of-school children in the state following the lockdown of schools due to insecurity and COVID-19 in the affected areas.
She explained that the programme had successfully established 450 Community Reading Hubs (240 in Katsina – Ala and 210 in Logo) and reached 66,080 children (19,329 children in Katsina – Ala and 46,751 children in Logo).
The programme, she said, also built the capacity of 1,152 teachers (582 in Katsina – Ala and 570 in Logo) to provide psychosocial support to children.
Osho further stated that the project target in Benue state was to reach: 97,681 children in Katsina – Ala and 73,562 children in Logo LGA, I1,990 teachers in Katsina – Ala and 2,100 teachers in Logo LGA, 212 SBMC in Katsina – Ala and 407 SBMCs in Logo LGA.
She called for the support of stakeholders in the education sector to ensure the sustenance of the programme even as UNICEF exited.
State Commissioner for Energy, Science and Technology, Dr Godwin Oyiwona, who presently oversees the education ministry, in his remark, commended ECEWS for training Benue teachers which had recovered all that was lost during the COVID-19 lockdown of schools.
Represented by Mr Terseer Tange, Director of Planning Research and Statistics (PRS) in the Ministry of Education, the Supervising Commissioner assured that the ministry would do its best to sustain the project in Benue State.