From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A non-governmental organisation, the Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihood and House (SIMLE), has donated 2583 dual desks to 41 primary schools and supports 270, 000 children in Benue State.
Chief of Party, SIMLE Project, Catholic Relief Services Nigeria Country Programme, Dr. Emeka Anoje, who disclosed this, in Makurdi, recently during the handing over of educational materials to the Benue State Government, explained that SIMLE was partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for the implementation of the projects while USAID Nigeria was funding the projects which was to last for five years.
Emeka said the project would be implemented in 17 local governments with 18 Civil society organisations with a target of reaching out to 270, 000 children and their caregivers which accounts for over 40 per cent entire project beneficiaries.
While positing that the gesture was born out of the need to help children overcome their educational challenges, Emeka said, “SIMLE sought for and obtained approval from USAID to implement an education block grant scheme in 41 schools across 17 project local government areas in the state.
He revealed further that the NGO also renovated six blocks, equipped one school library, provided 2583 dual desk to schools in the state.
“One of the strategies to increase access to education, school enrollment and retention is an education block grant scheme designed to significantly reduce financial barriers to education access especially those faced by vulnerable households.
“The finding of the assessment revealed some gaps in infrastructure which hinders learning in the classroom such as the absence or poor state of classroom furniture, specifically chairs and desks.
“The assessment also revealed that majority of the pupils could not afford payment of schools levies that are being demanded by school authority due to poor economic status of their parents/caregivers”.
Some of the benefiting are Holy Family Primary School Kansio where pupils had been sitting on the bare floor in the last seven years while receiving lessons, R.C.M Primary Tyodugh, Mbayongo, Makurdi, LGEA Primary School Tse Swem, Christian Academy Tse-Orkar and LGEA Primary school Orowa.
Receiving the school materials and renovated building, the state Executive Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Philip Tachin, thanked the donors adding that the donations would go a long way to alleviate the serious challenges of chairs and tables being faced by the state primary schools.
“Many of our school don’t have sits and tables for our pupils not only in the rural areas but in the township too as a result of this most ruler children stay away from school but we are doing everything possible to address the situation.”