Oando Foundation,USAID to Enrol 60,000 IDPs Children in Schools

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Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

Oando Foundation in collaboration with USAID Emergency Crisis Response (ECR)has planned to assist children of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in Bauchi State get access to education.

This was disclosed by the Head, Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke at the presentation of learning materials to 250 IDPs children who gratuated from an Informal Learning Center in Liman Katagum, Bauchi State yesterday.

She said that the plan is to absorb the children to mainstream schools in the communities where they are residing in Bauchi State.

‘The intervention is part of Oando Foundation’s planned efforts to enroll 60,000 internally displaced children into formal schools across Nigeria by 2018. To better integrate these vulnerable children into mainstream schools, the Foundation distributed education starter kits to learners in Bauchi and Adamawa state.

‘The starter kits are made up of educational materials crucial to easing children’s transition, re integration, retention and addressing the hidden costs of education in schools,’she said.

Adegoke noted that, the Foundation’s partnership with USAID ECR to mainstream the children and facilitate their placement into 11 schools it adopted in Adamawa and Bauchi states.

“This is the first in a series of education interventions targeting internally displaced and out of school children in North Eastern Nigeria. Our call to action is clear: we need to bridge the widening educational gap and ensure that no child is denied the right to education. Through our Adopt a School Initiative, our target is to enroll 60,000 children in school across Nigeria over a 3 year period, ensure reintegration of internally displaced children in formal education and improve learning outcomes. We are working with the government, interested partners and communities in select states,” she added.

While speaking, Executive Chairperson of Bauchi State Agency for Mass Education, Hajiya Yelwa Tafawa Balewa commended the foundation for its support to the education of the IDPs children living in the state.

She added that helping the IDPs children education will reduce the emotional stress they have been going through owing to what happened to them which forced them to leave their villages and towns to seek refuge in faraway places.

One of the IDPs children, 11 years old Musa Alkassim, who came from Gwoza in Borno State, commended the foundation for coming to their aid.

He said that they have stayed in Liman Katagum for about two years adding that 10 members of his family are staying in the community.

Hauwa’u Rabiu, a 17 years old JSS three student, who came from Wukari said that she is happy to have graduated from the Informal Learning Center which will enable her to be enrolled into a Secondary School to continue with her studies.