Think Creative Spring 2022


updates from around our world

Left: The LEARN to Read program will build on USAID’s and Creative’s years of literacy work in Nigeria.

Nigeria // Leveraging Education Assistance Resources in Nigeria (LEARN) A NewWave of Learning

Creative has been awarded a new USAID- funded program that will develop solutions to strengthen early grade reading delivery in Nigeria. Called Leveraging Education Assistance Re sources in Nigeria (LEARN) to Read, the five year program builds on and fortifies the gains achieved in Bauchi and Sokoto states during the past 10 years of collaboration between USAID and local stakeholders. “LEARN is an example of the right project ar riving at the right time,” says ProgramDirector Scott Frick. “Building on proven approaches, LEARNwill continue an established trajectory of improvement and work with government systems to expand support for early grade read ing achievement. Given the current learning crisis [in the wake of the pandemic], this work has never been more important.” Creative implemented LEARN to Read’s pre decessors—Northern Education Initiative and the Northern Education Initiative Plus—which employed a holistic approach to addressing a broad range of factors affecting learning, teach ing, systems management, parental participa tion and community engagement in education. The projects worked to strengthen access and quality of basic education through new and engaging teaching approaches and learning materials, teacher training, nonformal learning centers and more in Bauchi and Sokoto states. NEI Plus, which concluded in 2021, ultimately reached more than 1 million school-aged chil dren and youth.

LEARN to Read will continue in Bauchi and Sokoto, expand to at least one new state, and provide technical assistance with government counterparts to a wider range of other states. This USAID-funded project will be imple mented closely with the Federal Ministry of Education and state offices. “Creative has been in partnership with Nige ria’s education system stakeholders for more than 16 years, working together to establish a

strong base for taking early grade reading pro grams to scale,” says Eileen St. George, Ph.D., the Vice President of Education for Develop ment Division. “NEI Plus provided evidence of operating at scale while making a positive difference in learning.” In-country team led by Nigerians St. George says Creative is proud of its strong Nigerian team at the helm of LEARN to Read,

Given the current learning crisis, this work has never been more important.” - Scott Frick, Program Director of LEARN to Read

which will be led by Nurudeen Lawal, the former Chief of Party for the successful NEI Plus program. The locally-led teamwill “lead the LEARN activities’ ambitious expansion and sustain ability goals that are to result in an education system equipped beyond the life-of-project to stay the course in expanding and improving the learning outcomes of its children and youth across Nigeria,” she says. While implementing NEI Plus, Creative made sure that “the systems were strong enough, robust enough, efficient enough and were smart enough to do what they are expected to do,” says Semere Solomon, Creatives’ Senior Director for Growth Strategy. n

The Northern Education Initiative and NEI Plus programs

strengthened basic education in Bauchi and Sokoto states.

Photos by Erick Gibson

8 | Think Creative | Spring 2022

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