Friday, 30 April 2021

The KIR Foundation: Strengthening Resilience of The Education System Through The Book Drive Campaign.

 

 The Corona Virus pandemic marked a watershed in the global education system and like other countries, Nigeria was grappling with an unprecedented situation. For many of Nigeria’s schoolchildren, remote learning during the worst periods of the pandemic was not an option. Unsuccessful attempts were made to practice large-scale remote learning. Alternative solutions, such as television and radio programs, were not developed in time to reach large numbers of schoolchildren. Only a minority (those who attended rich private schools) were able to stay linked to their schools through technology such as video conferencing, academic software and online tutorials. The majority, who live in rural/underserved areas, were not able to continue their studies. To tell the truth, Nigeria was not prepared for the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This situation increased the risk of school dropout and exacerbated the many other challenges that children, especially the most vulnerable (those living in rural/underserved areas) already faced.

To bridge this gap and strengthen resilience in education, the KIR Foundation initiated the Book Drive Campaign in commemoration of her 10th Anniversary celebration. The Book Drive aspires to assimilate the reading culture among children in underserved and marginalised primary schools nationwide.  It provides for crosscutting activities, including needs assessment, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation of learning, and production of knowledge that will serve to both enhance the performance of the education in inadequately serviced schools, and strengthen its resilience. The lessons learned from the program will help inform discussions on how to strengthen preparedness and response capacities. The Book Drive Campaign focuses special attention on the most vulnerable children, including those living in rural areas, and the internally displaced children. Beneficiary schools are selected on the basis of vulnerability criteria established in consultation with volunteer implementing partners nationwide.

For the ERCC Nursery and Primary School Lafia, Nasarawa State Nigeria, the setting up of a Reading Corner and the marking of the World Creativity and Innovation Day was a day that will forever be remembered.  The ERCC Nursery and Primary School, Bukansidi, is a mission school owned and managed by the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ. Partnering with our volunteer implementing partner organization MyEnvironmentMyWealth, honourably represented by Christopher Zhedoga, a representative from the Value Chain Development Programme, The Executive Director, Citizens Center for Justice, Leadership and Peace, and representative from the Young Men Christian Association, Lafia.

The event started by 10:am with pupils and teachers carrying strands of palm trees to officially declare the World Creativity and Innovation Day and World Earth Day open. Our team of volunteers proceeded to establish a reading corner and donated a bookshelf with over 179 books to the excitement and reading pleasure of the pupils and teachers.  The event was spiced up with the formation of a Press Club, Readers' Club and Climate Change Club followed by the planting of trees. Our team of volunteers planted four strands of Tenera-improved Palm trees and two Masquerade trees. To the amazement of the pupils, there was a mini reading competition where 12 pupils from Primary 4 and 5 willingly participated. To test their reading abilities and their comprehension skills, they were tasked to read a passage from a storybook which they did delightsomely and were rewarded with storybooks. To wrap up the event, session on the importance of reading and taking care of our environment was also observed where each pupil pledged to plant at least a tree on each of their birthdays henceforth.

Despite all the challenges, the Book Drive Campaign holds the promise of better days to come for Nigeria’s underserved primary schools. The support of our donors, both during and after the pandemic, will ensure that underserved children can continue to learn under better conditions and that the education system will be able to cope more effectively with future crises.

 

 

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

Author & Editor

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation is a disability-inclusive organization that donates books, teaches skills and advocates the rights of our beneficiaries especially those with disabilities. Since 2011 we have reached over 30,046 people and donated over 26,000 books by inspiring change through learning. Send us an email: Info@kirfoundation.org

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