IDB to invest N19 bn on bilingual education in Nigeria
The Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), on Sunday, said it would invest 98 million dollars — about N19.5bn — on Bilingual Education Project (BEP) in Nigeria.
Receiving the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II at the IDB headuarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the president of the bank, Dr Ahmad Mohammed, said the money would be invested in nine states.
He said the affected states are Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Osun.
According to him, the project will bridge the gap between formal and informal education using Arabic and English languages.
He also said that the project would encourage and expand school enrollment and integrate final approval rested with the students of informal education to the formal education classrooms.
“This project was successful in Niger and Chad republics, where the Madrasa and Qur’anic schools were worked upon in such a way that will facilitate the graduates of the schools to enroll in public schools.
“The establishment of this programme will help Nigeria to overcome some of its education challenges like illiteracy and to enable those that learned in the Madrasa to be integrated into public schools,’’ Mohammed said.
The Acting Country Manager, Mamoud Kamara and the Manager, West Africa Region Country Programmes Department, in separate presentations, said BEP was in high demand.
He said that Senegal, the Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Djibouti and Somalia, had approved the programme.
He also said that Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, the Republic of Benin, Cameroun and the Comoros, had formalised their requests for the project.
According to him, one in six out-of-school children worldwide are Nigerians, totalling more than 10 million children.
He observed that insecure school environment, poverty and high cost of schooling, among others, caused the problem.
He observed that such problem had led to widespread illiteracy and many other negative consequences.
He noted further that the project in the affected states would provide 30 modern schools with 720 classrooms, 30 ICT-compliant laboratories, training of 1,800 teachers and 1.7 million textbooks, among other benefits.
Responding, Sanusi, accompanied by the Emir of Songa in Kwara, Dr Aliyu Yahaya, said he would take the project as a personal responsibility and worked towards getting the necessary approvals and its actualisation in the interest of the country.
He also urged the bank to consider investing in solar energy in Nigeria, saying that the abundance of sunshine in the country would make it veritable and an alternative source of power being used in other parts of the world.