Bauchi – During a ceremonial launch today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bauchi State introduced the Northern Education Initiative Plus, a five-year program to improve educational performance. USAID will invest approximately $58 million to strengthen Bauchi State’s ability to deliver quality education to children and serve as a model for other states. Last month, Sokoto State launched a similar initiative.
While focusing on the priorities of Bauchi and Sokoto, the Initiative aims to strengthen the state and local government institutions that provide education, to teach children to read, and to expand access to safe, appropriate learning environments. The Initiative will support Hausa literacy for nearly 2 million children, 45,000 instructors to improve their teaching ability, and more than 500,000 out-of-school children to start attending non-formal learning centers in Bauchi and Sokoto states.
At the event, USAID/Nigeria Mission Director Michael Harvey said, “More children attending school to learn how to read and write sets the basic foundation for a better life and a stronger economy. The U.S. government and the American people stand behind Nigeria’s efforts to help more children have access to quality education.”
For over five decades, the U.S. government, through USAID, has supported Nigeria’s efforts to improve education at all levels. The “plus” added to the name of this initiative is an indication of that continuing collaboration.
USAID is the U.S. government agency that supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. Since 2001, USAID education programs in Nigeria have supported access to quality basic education for girls and boys through teacher training. USAID has also provided small matching-grants to communities, parent-teacher associations, and non-governmental organizations to rehabilitate schools and prioritize community needs