The Federal Government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners have launched the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP).
The Launching ceremony held in Abuja on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that this was a welcome development following disruption of education by the Covid-19 pandemic and insurgency.
According to a statement issued by UNICEF Nigeria, The NLP is designed for pre-primary, primary and secondary school learning.
It said children, youth, and teachers could access a digitalized curriculum providing learning materials in all core curriculum subjects for Primary One to Six, and all Junior and Senior Secondary School classes.
It explained that a learner could register on the platform using any device with a web browser, or through the NLP mobile application, to access a variety of high-quality learning content.
Lauding the initiative, Nigeria’s Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said:
“To ensure continuity of learning for all children and the resilience of education systems to future shocks, we must change and reimagine the education sector.
“Deploying innovations that rethink the current methodologies, including new approaches to delivering education in ways that defy the digital divide, and ensuring learning continuity in emergencies, has become imperative”.
Similarly, UNICEF’s Executive Director, Catherine Russell, in a goodwill message at the launch noted: “Before COVID-19, about 10.5 million Nigerian children aged between 5 and 14 were not in school. Today in Nigeria, more than 9.7 million children are at risk of never returning to school, their learning left behind. The Learning Passport can help change that.
“By offering simple, easy, and fun ways to learn, as well as tailor-made training programmes, the Learning Passport will help respond to the needs of every child. With online, offline, and mobile options, it can help us reach the most vulnerable and marginalized learners” she said.
The statement explained that Nigeria’s education sector faces many challenges that have contributed to keeping more than 10.5 million children out of school in Africa’s most populous nation.
One of these challenges, it said, was access to quality learning, which has been exacerbated in recent times by attacks on learning institutions and abduction of students. Which has made parents fearful of sending their children to school.
Therefore, the NLP was necessary to assist students in vulnerable situations continue their education without disruption.
“Both the digital divide and COVID-19 have shown us that we must innovate to help Nigerian children fulfil their right to an education.
“We appreciate the partnership with Microsoft, the Global Partnership for Education, and all partners who collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Education on this project to provide continuous learning access to children in Nigeria”, said UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins.
NLP is an online, mobile and soon-to-be offline learning platform that will provide continuous education to 3 million learners in 2022 alone, and a total of 12 million by 2025.
The NLP is supported by GenU 9JA (Generation Unlimited in Nigeria), with the aim of delivering connectivity and digital learning to young Nigerians at scale. Partners such as IHS Towers and Airtel are currently connecting schools to the internet and providing zero-rated data to ensure that UNICEF can deploy the NLP in connected schools and reach millions of children with digital learning.