By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE North East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund,NEDC-EEF, said it was committed to the eradication of illiteracy and endemic poverty in the North East region.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of the fund, Mr David Kente, made the pledge at the inauguration of the board by the Chairman of the North East Development Commission ,NEDC, Gen. Paul Tarfa,rtd,in Abuja at the weekend.
Kente said the board would assiduously work toward the development of sufficient human capital in order to acquire adequate capacity for infrastructural and socio-economic development of the region.
He also said that the fund would build human capacity for the north east zone, through scholarship endowment;
Offer citizens of member States equal opportunity in ICT skills acquisition and educational training at graduate and post graduate levels.
“We are also determined to provide educational training for families at Ward , Local Government and Senatorial district levels in all the States.
” And further the education of over 2,400 beneficiaries of the Safe School Initiative (SSI) beyond Secondary School level.
“We will also offer opportunity for training orphaned children and other vulnerable groups currently not benefitting from the safe school initiative.
“We will also provide short term but impactful entrepreneurship training programmes to candidates whose primary school or secondary school education were truncated by the Boko Haram and other crisis.
“Similarly, we intend to offer special scholarship opportunities to talented youths engaged in sports, and also establish a North East Regional Sports Institute in the future.
“This in addition to supporting the training of Nurses, Midwives and retraining of Teachers and vocational training for women and youths.
“These will in no small measure fight the menace of low human capital and illiteracy which has been traced to be the highest in the north east, compared to the rest of the six geographical zones in the nation,” he said.
Kente said based on the UNDP Human Development Reports of 2018, north east States had a Human Development Index (HDI) scores below the National average.
“Ranging from a high of 0.4286 in Taraba to a low of 0.3238 in Bauchi State, less than half of that of Lagos State at 0.6515,the State with the Highest HDI score,”he added.
He assured that the board would partner with State Education architecture, local and international development partners in the education sector, as well as donor agencies to achieve it core mandate of creating an educated citizenry.
“This we believe will change the educational landscape of the region.
“Our intention and target is to get the first set of beneficiaries of the programme into various institutions by the beginning of the next academic session,”according to him.
Kente appreciated the support of the Chairman and members of the Governing Board of NEDC for setting aside the approved grant to enable the board hit the ground running with the activities of NEDC-EEF.