Sesugh Shiekaa, a teacher at the NKST Primary School Ahondo in the Nigerian state of Benue, had never used a computer before. Even though he had been a teacher for more than five years, he had no prior exposure to or experience with computers.
“Without the support of ProFuturo, I wouldn’t have been able to do a series of things that I can do now, like composing an email, typing on Microsoft Word, and several others. With this computer knowledge, I will impact positively and transfer my skills to the children in my community,” he said.
The ProFuturo Foundation, in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refuge Agency, has trained over 90 trainers/coaches, Ministry of Education officials, partners, and headteachers in connected education and educational innovation in Benue and Cross River States, to promote access to quality connected education for refugee pupils and locals in five primary schools.
“Out of 20 teachers in NKST Primary School Ahondo, only one had basic computer skills,” says Sylvanus Biam, one of the trained coaches and staff of UNHCR partner Foundation for Justice, Development, and Peace (FJDP).
The project is helping to improve the skills of local teachers, as well as providing access to devices and digital resources in communities where computer facilities and electricity are inaccessible. “I am impressed with what ProFuturo is doing to transform the future of children digitally. Thanks to the project, I have come to understand that the internet is one of the simplest ways to get information and to research,” Sesugh added.
Anastacia Bodue was the only teacher at the NKST Primary School Ahondo with basic computer skills before the implementation of the ProFuturo digital education project. “I studied Computer Science in College, but it was mostly theoretical. I could only type, edit, and send simple emails. But with the ProFuturo training, I have learned new things. I will be able to teach pupils practical computer skills to make learning more interesting,” Anastacia said.
In these refugee-hosting communities, this is the first project of its kind. UNHCR has installed solar electricity in the five schools to ensure access to power, and ProFuturo has provided 576 educational tablets for the students’ training. UNHCR is collaborating with local NGOs in Nigeria, Caritas and FJDP to implement the project, which will benefit approximately 6,000 refugee and local community students.
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