By Laide Akinboade-Oriere
Abuja – In order to fulfil its promise to educate 110,000 Nigerian girls and women with basic literacy and skills development, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has unveiled two ambassadors for Federal Capital Territory, FCT and Bayelsa State.
UNESCO Abuja Regional Director, Mr. Benoit Sossau, in his address at the occasion in Abuja, said the role of the two goodwill ambassadors is very significant to the project. Sossau, who was represented by the UNESCO Senior Education Specialist, Dr. Saidou Jallow, said “What is expected of these ambassadors is to advocate for the education of girls and women, advocate for additional resources and raise the profile and acceptability of the project to the government.
They need to remind them about their responsibility to educate not only the girl child but also make available resources needed. “We are To Empower 110,000 Women and Girls who are illiterates or at the risk of dropping out of school in Rivers, FCT and Bauchi States”.
He said about $1,600,000 (USD) from the private sector (Procter and Gamble World wide), would be spent on the project that would be from 2014 – 2017.
“The Empowerment of Girls and Women in literacy and skills development through the use of ICTs project funded by Procter and Gamble, aims at accelerating and underpinning the National efforts to achieve SDG goals 4 5 and ultimately, contribute to the achievement of the Nigeria’s national development goals of empowerment of people, wealth creation and economic growth by supporting 110,000 girls and women, to learn to read, write, compute and acquire life skills”.
He noted that so far, “The programme has successfully developed the Lesson contents into Mobile Applications accessible on Mobile Phones and Computers for the Formal Education Cohort, With the support of the Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy (UNESCO-RAYL) Project funded by the Nigerian Government, and the Nigeria National Commission for Mass Literacy Education (NMEC,) developed Radio Primers in different languages for the Non-Formal Education Learners.
“Successfully graduated 10,000 Non-formal learners with an additional 22,500 learners expected to graduate by the end of 2016, About 7,500 students (girls) in JSS II of the risk of dropping out of school have graduated to JSS III with the help of the developed Lesson content with an additional 15,000 expected to graduate to JSS III by the end of 2016.
“With the support of Samsung electronics, we have distributed about 400 Laptops for both the formal and non-formal Educational Cohorts, to the centres in FCT and Rivers States. So far, produced and distributed 60,000 2B and 2D UNESCO-PG branded Exercise books to Non-Formal Educational Cohorts and over 150 Registers for the Formal Cohorts in FCT and Rivers States,
Carried out high level advocacy to relevant stakeholders with positive outcome to the Project”. The UNESCO Ambassador from Bayelsa State, Mrs. Patience Obuzor, in her acceptance speech said, before now she has always been an advocate of girl-child education, this just an opportunity for her to continue.
The FCT Ambassador, Hajia Fatima Abdulrahman, said she dedicated the appointment to women and girls. Education of women and girls is very important especially those disadvantaged and less privileged. She promised to work in ensuring the education of women and girls in Nigeria.