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FG to Develop Implementation Guidelines to Address out of School Children

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Federal Government says it will develop a national implementation guideline on the Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) programme to address issue of out of school children.

Prof Ismail Junaidu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), disclosed this at a workshop in Abuja on Saturday.

The Workshop on Training of Master Trainers on ABEC was organised by Plan International Nigeria for selected teachers in crisis ridden states in the North-East.

Junaidu explained that the guidelines would be all inclusive where states and stakeholders including non-governmental organisations as well as development partners 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 at the verge of completing the piloting of the programme in Borno State and environs.

“It is important that I inform you that the result from the pilot-testing exercise gives further impetus to stay on course in our intention to use the programme as to bring down the number of out-of-school youths and children in Nigeria.

“Let me also inform you that while some teacher support materials have been completely developed others are in the completion stages,” he said.

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The executive secretary said 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 unique implementation strategy which makes it very essential that teachers are given special training on the use of the curriculum.

“One way of getting teachers trained on the implementation of the curriculum is to train a select number of teachers who will in turn train other teachers.

“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.

“It will also give the teachers the opportunity to interact deeply with the curriculum and the programme structure,” he added.

Junaidu, however, commended Plan International led consortium for its commitment to the ABEC Programme in the country.

He added that since the beginning of the organisation’s partnership with the federal government on this project, it had continued to demonstrate unwavering commitment to the successful implementation of ABEC.

In her remarks, Mrs Jummai Musa, Director, Programme Quality and Innovation of Plan International Nigeria, decried the rate of out of school children in the country.

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Musa said in the past 11 years of insurgency in the country, there were children that were born that period that had no access to education due to collapse education system in some communities.

She explained that a curriculum had been designed for abridged programme for such children in order to be placed in their appropriate classes with a view to have them in schools.

According to her, the number of out of school children is alarming, hence the need for well meaning organisations to work with the government to address it.

She added that Plan International was committed and ready to support the government to drive the implementation of ABEC initiative. (NAN)

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Yobe Enrols 17,000 Destitute for Free Medical Programme

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Dr Babagana Tijjani, Executive Secretary, Yobe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (YSCHMA) says the agency has so far enrolled over 17,000 poor people under its Social Equity Programme (SEP).

In a statement by the Agency’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Suleiman Bakoro, in Damaturu, on Friday, Tijjani  stated this at a workshop on utilization of Basic Healthcare Provision Funds (BHPF).

He said that Gov. Mai Mala Buni recently approved N200 million for the implementation of the programme, would fast track the attainment of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).

Tijjani noted that the SEP was one of the numerous programmes initiated by the governor to enhance access to free and qualitative healthcare services by the people.

On the BHCPF, the executive secretary said, the programme, jointly funded by the state and the Federal Government, also targeted the poor and vulnerable.

He said as at Aug. 25, the agency had paid capitations of 22,024 beneficiaries, adding that the figure represented “97.9% of BHCPF coverage target based on available funds disbursed through the NHIS gateway”.

Tijjani thanked the NHIS for organizing the workshop meant to build the capacity of the management and staff of the agency to perform their duties more effectively.

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In his remarks, the state NHIS Co-ordinator, Mr Abubakar Dabo, said that the objective of the workshop was to bring all stakeholders together to discuss implementation and utilization of the BHCPF.

He charged YSCHMA to ensure that operational guidelines were strictly adhered to in the utilisation of the funds.(NAN)

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ActionAid Secure £1.3m to Mobilise Youths, Women for Governance

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

ActionAid Nigeria has secured a £1.3 million grant from the United Kingdom through the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to increase women and youths’ participation in politics and governance in 2023 general elections.

The Women-Youth Project (We-You) is aimed at campaigning for women and young people in governance across Rivers, Kaduna, and Kano states.

The project will, among others, mobilise a critical mass of young people and women leading issue-based campaigns towards translating citizens’ demands into policy action in the benefiting states.

While Nigeria currently ranked 146th out of 152 countries in the global gap index on political empowerment, in the legislature, only 4.5 per cent are women.

The ActionAid County Director, Ene Obi, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the British High Commission, noted that the overall goal of the project was to contribute to the all-inclusive democratic process and enhance citizen-led action towards the improvement of good governance in the country.

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We’ll Complete Sagbama-Ekeremor Road in First Tenure – Diri

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From Tayese Mike, Yenagoa

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed satisfaction with work on the second phase of the Sagbama-Ekeremor road project in the Bayelsa West Senatorial District.

Governor Diri, who defied the rains on Wednesday to inspect the 42-kilometre road from Toru-Orua to Ekeremor, told newsmen at Aleibiri that the project would be completed in his first tenure.

The road, which was started by his predecessor, is one of several ongoing similar projects embarked upon by Governor Diri’s Prosperity Administration.

He said if the contractor kept to the terms of the contract, all sections of the road would be completed as scheduled.

Diri assured the people of Bayelsa West of his commitment to fulfill his promises to them.

“I can actually see value for money. I am satisfied and I believe that the terms of the contract would be kept. The contractor promised to deliver the project on time as scheduled.

“We also told Bayelsans that in this first tenure we shall hit Ekeremor. The terms of the contract are such that it is tailored towards the end of our first tenure. Hopefully and by God’s grace we expect that this road and this stretch would be completed in no distant time,” he said.

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Also speaking, the Project Manager for Sectraco Construction Company, Engr. I. Julian, said the road is divided into two sections – Toru-Orua to Aleibiri (28km) and Aleibiri to Ekeremor (14km).

The project manager said at the moment, more work was being done on section one while some level of progress had being achieved on section two.

Julian commended the governor for consistently inspecting project sites, which he said contributed to the progress recorded so far.

He promised that the company would give its best to the state by delivering quality projects and on time too.

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