An e-learning platform for Nigerian students in Diffa
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03-01-2020 | di COOPI

An e-learning platform for Nigerian students in Diffa

COOPI has adopted a digital-based educational approach in order to let Nigerian refugee adolescents continue their studies in Diffa thanks to the UNHCR-funded project, since 2014, students have continued their higher education studies thanks to an e-learning platform, they gained access to from five different Centre for Distance Education (CDE) in Diffa, Chetimarie, Bosso, Mainé-Soroa, Kablewa.

The platform school curriculum, inspired by the Nigerian one, and the final certification, issued directly by the official examination body of the Nigerian school system, the National Examinations Council (NECO), allowed many Nigerians to graduate and specialize in medicine and computer engineering in Niger or to continue their studies at the American University of Niger.

This important distance education programme, funded by UNHCR, will continue in 2020 to ensure the payment of the monthly services of directors, librarians and custodians of the CEDs. In addition, since September 2019, education activities have continued with the project entitled "Promotion and right to education denied: a challenge for refugee(s), displaced children and adolescent(s) and private host communities of a safe and inclusive place for learning and for teachers in the Diffa region, Niger " funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), which will allow, among others, to continue to cover the monthly payments of teachers.

Courses will also be guaranteed for the 2019/2020 school year, both by ensuring the monthly benefits of 33 Nigerian teachers, employed among the refugee population in the region, and by strengthening and improving the access to the e-learning platform, mainly thanks to the provision of computers. 

The programme involves 549 Nigerian students, including 136 girls, 158% more students enrolled compared to those involved in the first phase of the project in 2014. The programme will also cover the enrolment fees to the final exams and the transfer of 120 students enrolled in the last year of their studies to Nigeria, so that, by the end of the school year in June 2020, they can obtain a diploma officially issued by their country of origin.

The onset of the Lake Chad humanitarian crisis, which dates back in 2014, led to the displacement of nearly 230,000 Nigerians to the Diffa region, in southeastern Niger and posed several challenges - especially for many school-age children, who are faced with a different language, moving from an English-speaking to a French-speaking education system, and with different school curriculum.

The project funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation promotes the right to quality education for refugees, internally displaced people and host communities. Until October 2020, it will facilitate access to inclusive formal and non-formal quality education in a safe environment for first and second grade students (4-17 years old) affected by the Lake Chad crisis in Diffa, a region characterized by one of the lowest indices in the country in terms of schooling (59.1% of children of school age against a national average of 77.7%) and educational attainment rates (only 45.7% of those enrolled manage to complete their education against 80.2% of the national level).