FG Launches Accelerated Education Programme for Out-of-School Children

The Federal government has launched the Accelerated Basic Education Programme, (ABEP) to ensure that out-of-school children return to school.

The launch was under the auspices of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) with funding support from the European Union and Plan International Nigeria.

Speaking at the event in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said this was part of the present administration’s quest for quality education for every Nigerian child.

Represented by Director of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, Ministry of Education, Mr Ishaku Abdulwasiu, Adamu said: “The goal of this programme is to mop up and reduce to the barest minimum a large number of overage and out-of-school children who are disadvantaged and marginalised.

“Although this programme is well-thought-out and properly designed, there is a compelling need to validate its usability and effectiveness within the educational landscape.”

He said the ministry would support and ensure the sustainability of the Accelerated Basic Education Programme products, through an effective policy framework and monitoring structure.

Also, the Executive Secretary, National Educational Research and Development Council, (NERDC) Professor Ismail Junaidu, noted that to ensure sustainability and effective implementation of the programme, the council had developed guidelines to provide necessary details to support states and partners through the training and retraining of teachers who are the critical stakeholders.

“The Accelerated Education Programmes is today used as a standard descriptive term for the flexible, age-appropriate education programme and run in an accelerated time-frame that provides pathways to mainstreaming learners into relevant levels of schooling based on proper profiling.”

In his remarks, the Country Director Plan International Nigeria, Mr Charles Usie, who noted that the programme had been tested in Borno and Yobe as the pilot states, called on all stakeholders to fund and prioritise education.

He said: “Prioritising education gives an opportunity for one to thrive, an opportunity to fight in life and be productive in life,” We are celebrating another opportunity for Nigerians who will otherwise have no chance in life.”

“This launch today is sacred, we are already testing this product and we are facing the right direction because it has worked in Borno and Yobe states.”

The Country Director said education remains the major channel that can contribute to national development.

On his part, the Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, represented by Mr Shehu Balarebe-Kakale, confirmed that National Assembly had concluded the constitutional amendment process of moving basic education from chapter two of the Constitution to chapter four of rights of the citizens.

Meanwhile, three major documents which were developed in the past three years to aid nationwide implementation of the ABEP includes a teachers’ training pack, curriculum and the national policy guidelines.

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