From Olatunji Omirin, Maiduguri
United Nations Children’s Education Funds(UNICEF) in collaboration with the Borno State government have commenced eradication of learning poverty targeting a total of 87,000 pupils affected due to 13 years of Boko Haram conflict in the state.
Speaking at the Lamisula Primary School in Maiduguri on Monday, the State Coordinator Teaching At the Right Level (TaRL), Umar Mallam said 51 primary schools in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Konduga and Jere local government areas have been so far selected for the program.
“This method has worked perfectly and improves their knowledge, we have reached out to 87,000 pupils in 51 primary schools across three LGAs.
“We group them according to their learning levels, in th conventional teaching the teachers used to combine the fast, slow and beginner learners in a class and teach them so leaving behind slow learners,” he said.
UNICEF Education Specialist, Yusuf Ismail while responding to questions from the newsmen said the decade of the insurgency had severely affected the learning process of children in the region.
He noted that “Teaching At the Right Level” (TaRL) is a project that aims to support children at age 1-10 years old to learn faster which would encourage and boast slow learners as well.
According to Ismail, UNICEF, in partnership with the State Universal Basic Education Boards in north-east Nigeria, launched the Teaching at the Right Level (TARL) methodology in 537 schools.
He added that Borno State was the first to partner with UNICEF to pilot TARL classes in 12 schools in the year 2018.
“UNICEF is supporting the government to deliver and accelerate results for vulnerable children. Quality education is a right of every child and that is why the TARL methodology is bridging a gap not only in north-east Nigeria but in other parts of the world.
“The children up to 10 years old could not read and write, that’s why we introduce TaRL because it is more acute here, especially in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states respectively due to more than a decade of insurgency, so we are looking at how to provide a solution to learning poverty.
“Education sector has suffered severe damage which is adversely affected the pupils, what we are doing is to ensure that they are not lagging,” Yusuf said.
In his remarks, Head Teacher Lamisula Primary, Mohammad Saleh thanked the state government, UNICEF and other partners for the program, saying it has greatly changed the learning skills of the children.