On April 30, the Atiku Center for Leadership Entrepreneurship and Development (ACLEAD) kicked off a work plan development workshop for “Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria (AENEN) project,” a USAID-funded intervention program to improve the quality of education in the two Northeast states of Adamawa and Gombe.
The University, through the Atiku Center, had received N4.65 billion ($13.3million) as grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the AENEN project, which has a three-year active period.
In an overview of AENEN, the project’s Chief of Party, Audu Liman noted: “This is the very first time the American government is funding a local Nigerian NGO to design, implement, and lead a major project of education intervention and we have no choice but to succeed. We are committed to providing quality education in the North-East, we will not just implement it and report the achievements, but we will show the evidence.”
Mr. Liman gave the assurance that with the support of the stakeholders, “there is bound to be a minimum of 25 percent increase in learner performance in mathematics, English, and Hausa based on a standardized global assessment”.
Collaborating with the project are the ministries of education, SUBEB, LGEA and state Universities of Gombe and that of Adamawa; Colleges of education of the two states, as well as the Kent State University and Columbia University, both in the United States.
AENEN targets the capacity improvement of 100 education managers, an upgrade in the teaching skills of 5,000 teachers and improved education outcomes of 200,000 primary school children in 200 schools from 2019 to 2022.
Mr. Liman said it was an honor for AUN as an institution that is constantly striving to make life better for Nigerians to be considered for such major funding, with Kent and Columbia universities as sub-partners.
AUN President, Dr. Dawn Dekle, commended the 42 trainees for the courage and sacrifices they have made to join the three-year project.
“As you begin this new journey, you will transform Northeast Nigeria, and Northeast Nigeria will transform each one of you.”
President Dekle challenged them to see the problem of education beyond Nigeria, but as a global one that required global effort, and to always bear in mind the lives of 200,000 children that they are going to change in Nigeria.
“If you succeed, the impact you will have is infinite; you will change the lives of Nigerians. If you do this right, you will become leaders who will train others around the world,” she added.
Reported by Togor Passa