As part of efforts to tackle illiteracy in Bauchi state that was reported last year to have the highest number of out of school children, two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) namely ‘Better life Restoration Initiative (BERI), ‘Rahama Women Development Program’ (RW) have trained over 10,700 children in Shira local government area of the state on reading and writing in their non-formal education centres within the last five years.
The executive director of Better life Restoration Initiative Nkem Ogbonna disclosed this Wednesday during the graduation of the last batch of the pupils numbering 4,000 and round-up of the program held at the local government secretariat.
According to him, the program which was funded by the Northern Education Initiative (NEI plus) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was designed to encourage enrollment of children especially those in the rural areas into schools.
Ogbonna explained that the graduands of the non-formal education centres were taught reading and writing for eight months asking their parents to enroll them in conventional schools after graduation.
He noted that the idea to teach the children in the non-formal education centres was meant to make them comprehend lessons better when they are admitted into formal schools.
Also speaking, the representative of the state team leader of Northern Education Initiative Hajiya Aishatu Kilishi explained that NEI has so far educated 134,000 children in 10 selected local governments of Shira, Bauchi, Alkaleri, Toro, Ganjuwa, Darazo, Dambam, Gamawa, Itas Gadau and Misau in the state.
She said she was satisfied with the impact of the program and advised the state government to establish more non-formal education centres to enable children to learn how to read and write before their enrollment in formal schools.
Kilishi also urged the community and civil society organizations in the beneficiary areas to sustain the centres as the project expired.
The reports that Bauchi state has about 1.4 million out of school children.