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Published On: Tue, Sep 8th, 2020

2020 Literacy Day: Helpline to unveil initiative to boost learning in rural areas

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By Stanley Onyekwere

As part of activities to mark 2020 edition of the International Literacy Day, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, an Abuja based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has concluded plans to unveil a scheme tagged: “Adopt a Library Initiative”, aimed at bridging the gap between urban and rural schools in the Territory.
The Foundation noted that the prolonged closure of schools occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in widening the gaps between schools in urban and rural communities.
Helpline President, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, lamented the absence of online learning platforms in rural communities, stressing that as parts of its scholarship scheme the foundation has concluded plans to launch the initiative.
Ahmadu while adressing a world press conference in Abuja, called for collective commitment to supporting students in rural communities and providing resources to stimulate their interest in learning especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, “Since the outbreak of this COVID-19 pandemic, we have explored the gap regarding technology integration between urban and rural schools in the territory.
“And in our exploration we are guided by two main questions: Is there any significant difference in terms of technology availability between rural and urban elementary schools?; and Is there any significant difference in terms of students’ attitudes, competence and experiences in technology integration between rural and urban elementary schools?
“Our findings show that there was a significant difference in technology availability between rural andurban schools, including the number of interactive white-boards, desktops in labs, notebooks, netbooks, and tablet-computers. There was also a difference in teacher overall high-tech integration level between rural and urban schools.
She continues: “We at Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja and as part of our scholarship scheme has concluded plans to launch the “Adopt a Library Initiative.”
“With the help of friends and partners, we can reach more students with books, computers, internet facilities and other learning materials because from our study the urban schools might be more resourced in terms of ICT infrastructure than semi-urban schools”.
Ahmadu, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the education sector to support the scheme in rural communities across the six area councils in the Territory.

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