Efforts towards rebuilding the North-East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have received further boost, courtesy of a partnership between Etisalat Nigeria and Abuja Global Shapers Community, an offshoot of the World Economic Forum, which aims at bolstering pupil enrolments into primary schools in the three states affected by Boko Haram insurgency.
The initiative which is under Etisalat’s Community Schools Support Programme involved the delivery of educational materials: 1,000 school bags, 1,000 sets of uniforms, 10,000 exercise books and 1,000 sets of writing materials to pupils in Primary One in 10 schools across the three states.
Speaking at the formal presentation of the items in Yola, Adamawa State, recently, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said the partnership is intended to enhance ongoing efforts aimed at making basic education available and sustainable, especially in the North East. He was represented by the company’s Head, Government and Community Relations, Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf.
“Etisalat Nigeria is committed to delivering sustainable community support programmes that will complement public services and extend benefits to the grassroots across Nigeria. We are proud to be able to contribute positively to achieving the objective of improving our partner states especially in the area of Education. The UN Sustainable Development Goals on education is a target that we all should work towards achieving to secure the future for the young ones”, he said.
Also speaking, the Curator of the Abuja Global Shapers Hub, Jake Okechukwu Effoduh, called on concerned stakeholders to accord priority to qualitative education especially in the North East, expressing alarm over the increasing rate of illiteracy in the region.
“As at 2013, 52 percent of males and 61 percent of females aged six and above in the North-East have received no education. Today it is about 85 percent. This calls for swift emergency intervention. We have lost an entire generation in terms of education and the fastest way to restore and better our education system is through cross sector collaboration,” he added.
Also speaking, the Governor of Adamawa State, Muhammad Jibrilla Bindo represented by the Executive Chairman of Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board, Hassan Muhammed Toungo, commended Etisalat and the non-governmental organisation for their support for education. He assured that his administration would continue to support initiatives that can accelerate development in the state while noting that inadequate attention to education is one of the factors for slow pace of development in the region.
“Promoting quality education at all levels is basic. We are all where we are today because we never paid attention in the past to the basic. Whosoever pays attention to the basic is paying attention to a national issue. We welcome and are prepared to work with any stakeholder who is interested in lifting the standard of our children”, he said.
The beneficiary schools are Yerwa Practising Primary School, Abbaganaram Primary School and Bulumkutu Primary School all in Borno State; Katuzu Community School, Gashua, Central Primary School, Potiskum and Lawan Kawuri Primary School, Geidam, all in Yobe State; and, Wuro Hausa Primary School, Yola Town, Community School, Demsa and Tudun Wada Primary School, Mayo Belwa in Adamawa State.