In a bid to revive education in northern Nigeria and ensure proper education of Northern children, the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ProFuturo Foundation an educational training centre, which aims to improve the lives of children across the world, and seeks agreements with important local agents in the field of international cooperation.
At the event which took place in Abuja, ProFuturo President, Mr. Cesar Alierta, who signed on behalf of the Foundation, said unless children in Northern Nigeria were properly educated, the menace of Boko Haram may not be completely eradicated.
Alierta who said proper education of children and youths is very important for the whole world and especially for this region, added that, “We can`t beat Boko Haram with arms, but we know it can be fully defeated when the children of Northern Nigeria have access to proper education.”
Chairman of the NSGF, Governor Kashim Shetima of Borno State said the agreement is a major step towards ridding the region of poverty and illiteracy and would further foster inter-communal and interface dialogue and understanding.
Shetima also said the North has an unacceptable statistics of out-of-school children, which is set at 14 million according to statistics by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), as a result of the high poverty rate in the region.
The governor who thanked the Foundation for its tenacity, ambition and relentless effort towards seeing that its dream of ensuring the education of children came true, also commended the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, for anchoring the programme which he said was a welcome development that would ensure communal harmony and co-existence in the 19 northern states.
Kukah who appealed to the governors to ensure implementation of the signed pact, said, “I just want to make an appeal to the chairman [Gov. Shetima] – and I know I’m preaching to the converted – a lot of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the Governors’ Forum. The Governors’ Forum will have to take this burden off us to make sure that this project sails very smoothly.”
The aim of the education revival agreement is to equip schools in northern Nigeria with e-learning facilities that will help the chioldren connect and share ideas with their mates from other parts of the world.
ProFuturo Foundation, Managing Director Ms Sofia Fernandez, said the MoU was a blueprint which is already being implemented in 14 operations of Latin America led by ProFuturo and five African countries including Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Uganda, and that adding that the MoU was made in compliance with Spanish laws.
She said the foundation would work with The Kukah Centre to detect and define specific operations in schools in northern Nigeria.
Fernandez said, “There will be a co-team in The Kukah Centre that will act as our project management team. “We will count on the assistance of professionals that the Secretariat of the Northern States Governors Forum will eventually and very soon apply.”
She added that the Foundation was focused on offering opportunities through the provision of access to quality education via digital means.
Photos: Chigozie Efe