In a significant stride toward addressing the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria’s North-West region, the European Union (EU) has declared an additional investment of €5.4 million to enhance the capabilities of teachers. The announcement was made by EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, during the official launch of the €40 million intervention program on education and youth empowerment in north-western Nigeria through the Global Gateway initiative.
Urpilainen emphasized the importance of investing in teacher training, acknowledging that education cannot thrive without skilled and resilient educators. The additional funding is dedicated to building the resilience and capacity of teachers in challenging environments, ensuring they have the necessary skills to nurture students equipped with knowledge to address societal challenges.
The EU’s commitment extends beyond teacher training to providing vocational education and training for Nigerian youths, aiming to equip them with essential skills for success in the labor market. The ambitious program, developed in collaboration with Nigerian authorities, focuses on empowering youth through vocational education, behavioral change campaigns, and challenging harmful social norms.
Highlighting the transformative power of education, Urpilainen stressed that the program’s objective is to provide access to quality education and youth empowerment, particularly for out-of-school children, with a specific emphasis on girls. The program includes various components such as direct assistance to families, social protection, income generation, and support for agricultural practices.
The EU Commissioner underscored Nigeria’s significance as the economic powerhouse and strategic partner in the West region, emphasizing the need to invest in education as a cornerstone for creating resilient societies and finding solutions to global challenges.
Governor Umar Namadi of Jigawa State expressed gratitude for the EU’s support in addressing the issue of out-of-school children, noting the commitment of governors in the region to prioritize education and make significant investments in the sector.
The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, warned against downplaying the importance of education, emphasizing its critical role in the welfare and security of the country. He urged state governors to prioritize education and youth empowerment, aligning with the objectives of the European Union’s program.
As the EU collaborates with Nigerian authorities to implement the program, the focus remains on transforming the educational landscape, providing opportunities for all children, and ensuring that no one is left behind. The initiative aligns with the broader goal of fostering resilient societies and empowering the youth to address the multifaceted challenges facing Nigeria.