By John Okeke
The Kukah Centre is training a group of Nigerian Champions on the ProFuturo training on digital Classroom Project to reduce the digital and social gap of children in vulnerable environments through the improvement of quality education.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja last weekend, the Director of the Centre , Fr. Barkindo Atta said the ProFuturo training on digital Classroom Project is 5-days training for Coaches and Champions to help improve opportunities of boys and girls in vulnerable situations like wars, low education , security, socio-economic issues etc through transformational education initiatives based on an innovative and high quality digital education.
He said the ProFuturo project will be implemented in 12 Northern states in Nigeria.
According to him, over 123,000 primary school pupils and more than 5,000 teachers are expected to benefit from the initial phase of the project, implemented by the Kukah Centre.
The Lead Consultant-ProFuturo Initiative Nigeria, Michael Magaji said the coaches will after training will train others.
He also said that the Centre is engaging the stakeholders to ensure the smooth running of the project.
“Before you deploy people they must be fully trained. So, we are training champions who will go back to those states and train teachers who in turn will implement it in public primary schools. We prepare the project and prepare the people as well as training them after which they will go to the field and train the teachers.
“I talk about stakeholders’ management and engagement now when all this was going on of course we were talking to governors and regulators, the local education authorities and so on. All of them we have engaged them. Some of them are part of this training. We are going to bring them up with speed and this is the part of what we are doing. We are engaging them because they are very critical and these are public schools and they are the regulators that take care of those public schools. We are not the owners but we are deploying something to help them. We are engaging them at different levels and they have been very cooperative.”
Commenting on how they were selected, he said, “After visiting the states and talking with the authorities and the stakeholders we now ask them to nominate. Al those who are here we nominate and their documents sent across for screening which ensure that they have ICT knowledge and they must have a degree at a very minimum and in many cases teaching experience . Many of them have ICT certification in different areas. Those criteria were put together to nominate them. There was second layer of screening, third layer of screening before they will be deployed. Even as the trading is going on the screening continues. It is a very good trading and we are not expecting anybody to be dropped, continuously will be monitoring their performance even in the field.”
He said,” the training is donor funded and Nigeria is not bearing any cost . Donors have freely given us equipment running to millions of euros . States and federal government have not given us dine for this intervention. This training including the room we are standing is paid by the donors.”
Asked how Almajiri came into the whole thing, he said,” well it is just unfortunate because this project has no religious attachment. It is for everybody. Humanity is one and the idea is to promote education for national development. That is the ultimate goal. It is not a religious issue and it won’t. We have trained about 30 champions so far and they are going to go round in different states training teachers. So, this is the training of trainers’ type of Programme which after now they will go and train teachers and these champions will now oversee deployment by teachers. So, they will be deployed in schools and they will be in schools every day. The equipment is being maintained and the Programme is being sustained.”
“The Kukah Centre have an agreement with Northern Governor Forum . The power of the state lies on governor and the bureaucracy is derived from them whether is UBEB or the commissioner of education. So, that agreement covers the deployment entirely,” he added.