Kent State will work with USAID Nigeria on a four-part project to improve the quality of education and instructors in Northeast Nigeria. The grant was approved on March 28, 2019, and Kent State will work with Columbia University and the American University of Nigeria over the course of three years on the education project named “Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria.”

Marianne Martens, an associate professor of the School of Information, is one of the lead researchers of the grant. Martens said Columbia University and the College of Education, Health and Human Services (EHHS) at Kent State will work on educational materials that are gender sensitive and provide “psychosocial support.”

The classroom materials must be “culturally sensitive” and have an emphasis on portability and replication.

“I think it’s gonna be a challenge, but I think it is the most important thing of everything we’re doing on this grant,” Martens said.  

Kent State has been working with the American University of Nigeria and Columbia University on the grant since April 2018 when the team first proposed it to USAID Nigeria. Martens said they had shown USAID they were interested in working together and helped make a “really strong” grant.

The team from Kent State will primarily have 12 members from the College of Information and EHHS, with additional volunteers that will join once the fall semester starts. The three universities will split a $13.3 million dollar grant to use for their programs.

According to the press release, 10.5 million children are not enrolled in school in Nigeria; a majority of them are girls. 60% of these children are located in Northern Nigeria.

“Our goal is to provide materials for teacher training as well as for students,” Martens said. "But there will be a big focus on training materials for teachers. The teams will be "codesigning" the materials with the American University of Nigeria, who will be “on the ground.”

The universities have many goals in this project, one of which is to improve the management of faculty members at all levels with an increased focus on female leaders and teachers, as well as reach at least 100 schools and impact hundreds of thousands of students in Northeast Nigeria, Adamawa, and Gombe states.

Marissa Moore is correspondent. Contact her at mmoor146@kent.edu 

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