UAE foundations back scheme to educate thousands using radio
The three-month project was broadcast via radio and reached primary and secondary school-goers across five Nigerian states
Two Sharjah-based non-profits, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), have helped fund a remote learning project in Nigeria that benefited 65,000 primary and secondary students, especially girls.
The project’s funding requirement of $57,781 (Dh212,225) was fulfilled by NAMA Fund — a fund to support development projects for women in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The funding was mobilised through TBHF’s Girl Child Fund in partnership Malala fund, co-founded by Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Aimed at boosting the distance learning activities of students impacted by the closure of schools in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the three-month educational project was implemented by ACE Charity. It was broadcast via radio and reached primary and secondary school-goers across five Nigerian states of Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Borno and Adamawa.
The project sought to ensure that children across Nigeria have timely and sustained access to quality education services during the pandemic. It provided educational resources in reading, writing, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities.
Children were also instructed on the vital role of improved hygiene practices, especially frequent handwashing with soap, to curb the spread of the coronavirus and as an essential element for good health.
Educational content covering the core academic subjects was translated into local dialects and broadcast on radio stations.
Catchy radio jingles were aired during off peak periods to attract and draw more children into the educational programme.
Maryam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “The targeted radio broadcasts in five dialects successfully addressed the needs of the widest possible segment of female students in the primary and secondary sections whose learning had been hampered due to school closures.”
Yousafzai added: “In a crisis like Covid-19, girls and young women are the first to be removed from school and the last to return.”
According to the Malala Fund, girls account for 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 10 million out-of-school children. The UNICEF statistics suggest that one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. The onset of Covid-19 has further exacerbated the challenges to keep children learning in a country where economic barriers and socio-cultural norms discourage attendance in formal education, especially for girls.
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