As the European Union Delegation and its implementing partner, Plan International, concluded the three-year intervention on easy access to education for children in Borno State, the EU Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria, has described the intervention as a giant stride exigent for the people of the state.
The Youth Sounding Board expressed confidence in the impact of the support by the EU, noting that the intervention has contributed to making Borno State more resilient to the insurgency and its negative impact.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Youth Sounding Board, the board described the European Union’s effort at reinvigorating the education sector as essential, adding that the constant retrogression of education in the North East is alarming as a result of security challenges ravaging the region.
“The European Union Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria is quite alarmed at the constant retrogression of Education in the North East. The security challenges in the country have become a constant threat to children and their future. The fundamental human rights expose the importance of life and education however the case has not been so since the beginning of the insurgency in the Northeast.”
“The condition of the learning environment is also a major setback as knowledge is as good as the kind of environment it is being impacted on. The European Union and Plan International focused on improving the situation to enable children to have access to quality education in a safe and conducive environment equipped with a water facility.”
The Youth Sounding Board explained that during visits to two benefiting schools of the projects namely; Federal Low-Cost Primary School and Government Girls Secondary School, YSB members discovered that most students had great prospects and were fully aware of what they wanted to become in the future.
At the point of closure of the intervention, over five hundred and fifty thousand people have been directly and indirectly reached throughout the program’s lifetime. The YSB described this as a ‘great stride’ and urged the state government to improve its efforts to ensure education for all children is feasible in a safe environment while also calling on the federal government and international bodies to spotlight these areas and provide further support to restore the state to the peacefulness once experienced.
Meanwhile, Mr Charles Usie, Country Director of Plan International, the implementing partner for the project, had earlier disclosed during the closeout ceremony in Maiduguri on Tuesday that the €10 million programmes funded by the European Union has helped over 13,000 children return to school while many young people in Borno State benefited from life-skills, employability and business training.