As of October 2016, children constituted 62% of Minawao camp’s population and out of 29,000 children of school-going age, 40% were not enrolled. Within this group, 10,000 adolescents aged between 14 to 17 years had never been to school in Nigeria or had been attending Koranic School, leaving them with little to no previous educational experience. This makes providing accelerated learning programmes that are adapted to their age and skill level all the more urgent. Compounded with these difficulties are the protection risks that out of school children and youth face such as engaging in negative coping mechanisms and involvement in illicit activities. This is particularly relevant to youth of secondary school age who do not enroll in or drop out of school to support their families.
To bridge systemic challenges such as language barriers (English speaking Nigerians vs French as official schooling language) or overcrowded classrooms, a bilingual secondary school was established in 2014 in Minawao and primary schools run in double shifts. Despite ongoing efforts to expand quality primary and secondary education, critical challenges remain. Firstly, there are not enough infrastructures available in which to conduct lessons and pedagogical activities. In addition, there are not enough teaching staff to supervise a constantly growing student body. In this respect, all activities are adversely affected by the excessively high student to classroom ratio (150-200:1 at primary level and 90-100:1 at secondary level). Secondly, there are severe material shortages such as school kits, uniforms, and also computers. Overall, parents’ prejudicial behaviour towards formal education has further hindered the adoption of good practices and reduced the chances for sustained attendance.
In 2017, more than a 100 classrooms and 50 latrines will need to be constructed. School kits, uniforms and teaching materials will have to be distributed to 20,000 students and classrooms equipped with benches and desks. Education actors will advocate for the deployment of trained teachers and provide capacity building. Financial assistance will also have to be provided to 320 children in primary and secondary schools in order for them to sit their exams. Education actors will work with the Livelihoods sector to provide vocational and skills training activities. Adult literacy programmes will target 3,000 adults in Minawao camp and will also encourage beneficiaries, including from the host community, to benefit from trainings. In synergy with other sectors, education actors will work to ensure children’s rights are protected and propose a holistic approach to the education response with the technical support of relevant Ministries.