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Project Bishiya: Women’s Literacy Project for Northeast Nigeria

We set out to first ascertain the degree of women illiteracy in the North-East region of Nigeria. Methodologically this involved a desk review and peer group comparisons. The intention was to design a project approach that hinged on pragmatic amelioration of the shortfall in literacy. Project Bishiya seeks at the same time to improve access to education – as our initial findings showed that access is as important as teaching content. To incentivize the reach of the programme we resolved to use a rewards-based system for participants. The multi-pronged project we designed is destined to test the new approach we developed and can serve as a model for bringing literacy/numeracy to what we found to be at least five million women and girls across North-East Nigeria over the next three years.

The project’s aim is twofold: Firstly, to test teaching crash courses in English Reading/Writing/Arithmetic (literacy, numeracy) to girls and adult women; secondly, to develop culturally relevant resources and influences to inculcate the value of—and an aspiration to obtain—a modern, formal education. The outcomes we hope to achieve have therefore been defined as follows: 1) higher enrolment of young girls in primary and secondary school education; 2) improved access to primary healthcare services and acceptance of a disease-preventing lifestyle; 3) enhanced economic activities amongst the women leading to improved livelihoods / emergence from multi-dimensional poverty; and 4) increased participation of women in regional governance, decision-making and resource sharing. A byproduct of the project will be to assist in the sustained rebuilding of displaced and disadvantaged communities

ORIGINATOR: The African Politeia Institute

AUTHORS: Fatima S. Malumfashi and Eniola Shitta, with assistance from Dr. Jeremy Gaines

IMPLEMENTATION: Grow Nigeria Initiative click here to download

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