The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has re-launched its Feed and Read program, a global centre for out of school children.
The programme is aimed at teaching basic numeracy and literacy to Almajiris and vulnerable out-of-school girls while offering them a meal a day.
This was disclosed by AUN President, Margee Ensign, at AUN’s north campus, during the re-launch of the program in Yola.
Margee said the re-launch started with 50 Almajiris and 50 vulnerable out-of-school girls who are carefully selected from host communities which sum up to a total of 100 beneficiaries.
She explained that there is the need to reduce the number of out-of-school children roaming the streets begging for alms, adding that education is a basic human right.
“According to UNESCO, 61m children around the world are not in school.
“They live mainly in rural areas, are poor and the majority of them are girls.
“According to UNICEF and UNESCO, Nigeria, as we know, has the largest number of out-of-school children ranging from eleven to eighteen million. Why don’t we know?
“The fact that we have difficulty in finding precise data about how many beautiful children are out of school means we have not taken it seriously.
“There are an estimated 2.8 million out-of-school children in our region, the northeast and in addition to that 802 schools remain closed, and another 1,392 are damaged and can’t be used,” she stated.
The AUN President assured that the AUN community will try its best to achieve its target through reaching out to many out of school children, teaching them basic literacy and numeracy.
“AUN has a long history of working with children who are out of school during a conflict situation.
“We started something called TELA (Technology Enhance Learning for All) where 22,000 refugees’ children were educated with radios and with computer-assisted learning. So, AUN has unusual experience in this area.
“One of the reasons we are launching not only feed and read but our Global Center for Out-of-School Children. This is a global problem, we will put up research to see what works and what doesn’t work and we will begin to connect the rest of the world to take on what is a basic human right, the right to go to school, the right to learn how to read and write,” she added.