Considering the aforementioned challenges, it is critical that immediate steps be taken to address this huge education deficit. To address some of these issues, the Oando Foundation (OF), in partnership with the government at various levels, commits to increase access and improve the quality of education across the country through its Adopt a School Initiative (AASI).
The Oando Foundation (OF) recognizes that improving educational quality in Nigeria is a multifaceted problem. Consequently, AASI will not only provide funding to improve school infrastructure, but it will also drive the transformation of the current primary education system by creating a superior learning environment. The Oando Foundation will achieve this objective through a number of interventions. First, OF will provide educational resources, teaching aids, and create ICT centers in its adopted schools. OF will also award scholarships to over 2,500 pupils to reduce direct and indirect costs of education to students with great need. Moreover, the commitment will, facilitate community participation in school governance through the creation of School Based Management Committees.
Finally, OF will introduce teacher capacity building programs in order to improve learning outcomes and heighten teacher skills. This initiative will see OF adopt at least 100 schools, build capacity in a minimum of 3,584 teachers and ensure over 60,000 pupils have access to quality primary education by 2015. To assist in financing this endeavor, Oando PLC is committed to giving 1% of its annual pretax profit to the OF.
OF has currently adopted 28 schools. This number is planned to increase by at least 24 every year through 2015 when the total projected figure will reach at least 100. This intervention will be implemented in a series of phases over the next three years, with a projected completion date of December 2015.
In the pre-adoption phase, OF will have meetings with policy makers, communities and schools. At these meetings, the groups will familiarize themselves with the program and a needs assessment will be conducted to identify the unique requirements of each school. A scientific approach is deployed at this stage by conducting a baseline. Data from the schools will be collected and analyzed, to form the basis for our intervention in selected schools.
In Phase I, the rehabilitation of school infrastructure will be conducted according to government specifications. The Integrated Early Childcare Development program will also be piloted during this phase.
In Phase II, OF will roll out the teacher training program, which will focus on three major areas: Numeracy and Literacy, Participatory Methodology, and ICT skills.
In Phase III, OF will create ICT creative centers in adopted schools. These centers will be set up to enable students to build their capacity in information and communication technology and explore their potential in arts and music.
In Phase IV, OF will work with School based management committees (SBMC) and Local Government Education Authorities (LGEA) to manage the schools. OF will provide training for the SBMCs on advocacy, school management and fund raising. The LGEAs will be provided with computers and trained on data entry, management and analysis.
A maintenance strategy, which will include annual and mid-term reviews of our programs, will be incorporated into the post-adoption phase and assessments of the programs will be carried out by independent consultants using OF's participatory monitoring and evaluation approach.
The urgency to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2, Universal Primary Education (UPE), is imperative in Nigeria. According to a joint report released by UNICEF, UNESCO, UIS and UBEC, economic and socio-cultural factors keep over 10.1 million Nigerian children between the ages of six and 14 out of school. In addition, Nigerian public schools face grave infrastructure deficiencies and teachers are not exposed to methods that develop pedagogical and cognitive skills, which makes it even more challenging to achieve positive learning outcomes. Moreover, despite the fact that the Government has developed and approved policy to promote Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD), it is virtually non-existent in primary schools due to a lack of adequate funding to monitor and coordinate IECD activities nationwide.