By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The National Commission for Refugees, migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) said that 4000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) would be enrolled into the just launched Transitional Learning Centre.
The Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim disclosed this while launching the Transitional Learning Center on Thursday in Abuja.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that the initiative was part of the ongoing intervention under its ‘Project Educate All’.
She said the Commission had engaged 54 instructors from the IDP hosting communities to serve as facilitators.
“We are pleased to announce that 4,000 learners between the ages of five and 18 will benefit from this phase of our programme in eight IDP camps located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nassarawa State.
“These camps include New Kuchingoro, Takuchara, Karamajiji, Wassa, Waru, New Karshi, Malaysian Garden, and Yimutu, with 700 pupils already enrolled.
“Furthermore, to ensure the success of this initiative, we have engaged 54 instructors from the IDP hosting communities to serve as facilitators, ” she said.
According to her, this engagement has not only provided much- needed employment in this communities but also allowed us to prioritize the localisation of our interventions and promote the sustainability of the programme.
She acknowledged that education played a fundamental role in promoting peaceful coexistence, adding that lack of it during displacement could have severe social and economic consequences for both displaced and host communities.
She further explained that having access to education during crisis was imperative with over 52 per cent of the 69 million displaced individuals globally under 18.
She noted that displacement crises were increasingly protracted and often affect the time a child took to grow, develop, and prepare for adult life.
“Despite significant improvements in enrolment access to education over the last ten years, most children living in conflict-affected contexts are often left behind.
“We must not forget that education is a fundamental human right, and the right to quality education should not stop because of conflict and displacement.
“Children must be able to go to school, learn in a safe environment, and be given a chance to develop their full potential, whether they live in an IDP camp, a makeshift settlement, a town, or are still on the move.
“It is important to stress that education is a right enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Children and a collective responsibility of all stakeholders,” she added.
She said the Commission regarded education as an essential foundation for individual, social, and economic development and a pillar for equality, respect, tolerance, and dignity.
According to her, basic education and vocational skills development are priority areas of our integrated approach towards ensuring durable solutions.
“Therefore, since 2021, the Commission has scaled up technical and financial provisions in education in emergencies and protracted crises.
“In line with the Commission’s camp exit strategy and delivering durable solutions to persons of concern (POCs), with strong consideration for host communities, the Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (Areai).
“This is to support the implementation and facilitate access to accelerated and informal educational opportunities for IDP, refugee, and migrant children.
“This is through a comprehensive multi-layered approach that matches learning and academic skills with psycho-social support and life skills training,” she said.
She said the main objective was to promote social integration or re-integration into formal education in camps and host communities.
She further explained that the Transitional Learning Center was an outcome of this very robust collaboration.
“The learning center is more than just a school. It is a place where children can regain a sense of normalcy and stability in their lives.
“It is also a place where these children will make friends, learn new skills, and dream of a brighter future and build their foundation needed to succeed in life.
“Given the human-centred design nature of our interventions as a key fundamental of our Strategic Roadmap, it is important to note that aside from members of the IDP community, host community members are also playing a critical role in co-leading the implementation process of the Transition Learning Centers.
“Bi-monthly workshops for key stakeholders are deployed as part of quality control measures.”
Sulaima-Ibrahim also said that workshops are also hosted at the Centre that focus on training local stakeholders and women groups on peacekeeping, self-awareness, basic hygiene education, and prevention of violence against children, including gender-based violence (GBV) and disabilities.
“In addition to providing comprehensive education, the Commission is committed to promoting sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention of children in displacement,” she added. (NAN)(www.nanews.ng)
Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Ekemini Ladejobi