Everything changed for her thanks to Educate A Child (EAC), working with its partner in the country, the Oando Foundation (OF), an independent charity established in 2011. Together they aim to reduce the high number of what are known as “out of school” children (OOSC) in Nigeria, through the Adopt-A-School Initiative. The project supports the Nigerian government’s universal primary education goals and aims to increase access to quality education to 60,000 children over a three-year period.
More than 8.7 million children of primary-school age do not attend school in Nigeria, according to UNESCO figures. Over the last six years, poverty, civil unrest and conflict have fuelled increases in OOSC prevalence in northeastern parts of the country.
OF’s holistic approach focuses on helping children integrate into formal education through school infrastructure upgrades, professional development for teachers, scholarship awards, establishing ICT and early-childcare centres, and community capacity-building initiatives. Together, EAC and OF seek to drastically improve teaching quality and learning outcomes, and breathe new hope into education for children in the region.
Rukayya now works at a keyboard in the newly established computer laboratory at her school in Udubo, a rural community in Bauchi. Udubo Central Primary’s new facilities have provided Rukayya with hands-on experience using a computer. “I walk 3km to school every day, but I’m happy and every girl in my community wants to be like me,” she says.
Thanks to EAC’s support, OF has expanded its reach and will help more students like Rukayya get to school. In its first year, the project enrolled more than 16,000 OOSC into 40 schools. Rukayya’s mother says, “I’m happy that we allowed Rukayya to enrol in school. She is doing well and has become more confident. I’m proud of her – she is a role model to her siblings and other girls in the community.”