EU and UNICEF improve the collection, analysis and use of school data in North East Nigeria

UNICEF is one of the most recognized social welfare organizations in the world.

By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –

The European Union (EU) and UNICEF have built the capacity of 50 government education officials in north-eastern Nigeria to improve the quality of data and evidence available to formulate effective policies and conduct targeted investments in the education sector in the region.

A statement released Monday by UNICEF Borno State Communications Officer Ms. Folashade Adebayo said the Education Management Information System (EMIS) training for key partners in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe will lead to the generation of credible data and broader indicators to help education officials and policymakers design interventions that meet the learning needs of all vulnerable children in the northeast from Nigeria.

The statement notes that for the first time, “data on out-of-school children, children attending Tsangaya and Islamiyyah schools as well as non-formal education pathways will be captured and stored digitally to improve education planning and targeting services to support girls and boys.”

“The protracted security crisis in North East Nigeria has exacerbated the weak delivery of basic social services, depriving children of their right to education, protection and many other essential services. Children in northeast Nigeria are among the most conflict-affected and educationally disadvantaged in the world.”

“In Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, 1.9 million conflict-affected boys, girls and adolescents do not have access to quality basic education. Since 2012, 31% of all schools in North East Nigeria have been hit, at least once, by bullets, shells or shrapnel”.

Ten percent were deliberately set on fire and 26% targeted by suicide bombers. At 47.3%, almost half of all schools in the region are in need of rehabilitation”.

UNICEF, however, said a strengthened EMIS will facilitate effective information collection, data analysis and support targeted interventions to address persistent gaps in the education sector created by the conflict and other factors.

“UNICEF is delighted to support governments in North-East Nigeria to obtain timely and credible data to support evidence-based planning for the education sector,” said Phuong T. Nguyen, Chief from the UNICEF field office in Maiduguri.

“For conflict-affected children in North East Nigeria, this means one thing: schools will have adequate teachers, a more inclusive and child-friendly learning environment, including safe classrooms, toilets gender segregated and water points as catalysts for staying in school, transitioning, completing education and making a positive contribution to society.

“This initiative will help improve access to quality education for marginalized children, especially girls and other people with disabilities,” said Phuong T. Nguyen.

Implemented by UNICEF and Ministries of Education, State Councils for Universal Basic Education, State Agencies for Mass Education and Ministries of Religious Affairs in the three states, The EU-funded program is a three-year European Union support of €10 million Recovery and Resilience Program to help children, youth and communities in North East Nigeria.

The comprehensive package also includes the provision of vocational skills and non-formal education to at least 25,000 young people, the construction and rehabilitation of learning centers and the strengthening of education management information systems.

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