New Feed-and-Read Program Enrollees Start Lessons

New Feed-and-Read Program Enrollees Start Lessons

On February 20, new beneficiaries of the Feed and Read program started their classes.

The children come from the University’s host community.  They will be taught basic literacy and numeracy in a nine-month period after which they will write an examination.  The program also incorporates basic hygiene.

One of the overseers, Mrs. Elizabeth Raymond of AUN Academy (Elementary), said those who pass the exam would be given certificates after the period.  The beneficiaries are vulnerable children who are seven years and above.

The program has 10 facilitators and two supervisors.  The Administrative Lead, Mr. Ijidai Yohanna, said his team is made up of experienced teachers who know how to relate very well with children.  The 300 recruits are equally divided according to gender.

The girls are orphans or those who have been deprived of formal education while the boys are predominantly Almajiri children who often beg for alms on the streets.

Imam of AUN, Mallam Dauda Bello, an Islamic scholar who also helps in coordinating the program, said he is concerned that the children should not only memorize the Koran but also learn and understand what it means.  He said their enrollment in the literacy program would enable them to get other forms of knowledge and combine it with that of Islamic education.  He feels that this will be more beneficial for them and society.

Mr. Mohammed Mamza, Special Assistant to the Adamawa State Governor on Political Affairs, said he has found an opportunity to touch lives by volunteering to teach the Feed-and-Read boys.  Mr. Mamza said a program like this motivates him to contribute his quota to national development.  He envisions that the vulnerable children will have hope for a better life.  “If they become civilized, they will want to contribute to the development of this state.”

Ms. Cecelia Jibra, who brought her 10-year old granddaughter from the village to join the program, said she was motivated to do so because she is convinced that she would get a better academic foundation in the program.

Children who become successful in Feed and Read have a tendency to later enroll in mainstream schools.

By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa

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