- Urges states to provide educational facilities for vulnerable groups
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Following the successful launch of its National Post Covid-19 Educational Response Plan (CERP), the Educational Network Against Covid-19 (ENACOVID) has appealed to the public for financial support to the tune of N52.2 million to enable it register some remaining 2,900 candidates for the Nov/Dec WAEC.
In his address at the formal lunch of CERP in Abuja Wednesday, the ENACOVID Executive Director, Ben Onwudinjo, explained that the initiative “targets all groups of persons whose fortunes and possibilities of earning decent education may have been affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to Onwudinjo, CERP is anchored by ENACOVID – a non-profit, non-religious, non-political and non-gender sensitive organisation set up to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the education sector.
He explained that as a pilot scheme, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, approved a memorandum of understanding for ENACOVID.
He also “screened and released at least 3,000 widows, orphans, repented commercial sex workers, victims of domestic violence and youth groups to the body for training at no cost to the government or the beneficiaries.”
However, “with support from members of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Abuja Branch, we trained them on different skills, including catering, craft, cosmetology, tailoring, driving/mechanic, coding/programming, solar power energy/CCTV installation and fashion/interior decoration practical lectures.
“Successful ones shall write the Federal Ministry of Education-organised NABTEB modular examinations by the first quarter of 2023. Entire list of all beneficiaries are available on request, due to privacy issues.
“We also prepared them to sit for the Nov/Dec 2022 West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and NABTEB exams, paid their tuition and examination fees.
“If you come to the exam centre inside Jabi Primary School (Centre No. 5020606), you will see at least a hundred of them writing the exams with joy while we have almost 2,900 awaiting registration for the Jan/Feb 2023 WAEC external exams.
“To register the remaining 2,900 candidates for the WAEC 2023 Jan/Feb exam, we need public support to the tune of N52.2 million, since WAEC charges N18,000 per candidate.
“We appeal to members of the public to help call on international communities, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, philanthropists, international non-governmental organisations and the public for support to enable us pay the WAEC fees for the beneficiaries between now and December 2022.”
He urged interested individuals and organisations to contribute through: Access Bank: 1483500599, (USD Account, Access Bank: 1667997593) or vide bank draft in favour of WAEC to the tune of the number of candidates they wish to support.
“On behalf of the Presidency, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who doubled as chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, endorsed that our NGO awards tuition scholarships to vulnerable women and youths who obviously were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, at no cost to government,” he stated.
“ENACOVID is expected to raise funding from foreign and local philanthropists and sources.
“We extend our strongest appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, as well as Federal Ministry of Education, which approved activities of the organisation to enable it respond effectively towards mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the target groups, especially in the education sector.
Meanwhile, he told the gathering that having successfully lunched the CERP, “especially for widows, orphans, repented commercial sex workers, victims of domestic violence and youth groups, we shall be extending the services to all the 36 states of the federation at no cost to any of the state governments, since the FCT pilot scheme recorded a very huge success.
“We only require educational facilities across the states to enable us train all interested vulnerable groups and register them for WAEC/NECO/NABTEB at no cost to them or to the state governments, since funding comes from our incomes, crowd-funding and support from local and international sources.
“We are now awaiting invitations from all state governments for action. We are already setting up the Praxis College of Engineering and Technology and Praxis College of Health Technology, where interested but successful ordinary level candidates shall be admitted for higher studies.
“We are also liaising with various governmental and non-governmental organisations to empower all skill-based candidates with equipment for practical self-reliance.”
He commended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Ministers of Education, Finance, Budget and National Planning, as well as the Minister of State for FCT for their strong moral support, adding that without it, ENACOVID would not have succeeded to the benefit of the country.
Meanwhile, he appealed to the public (local and international) for financial support to enable the group accomplish this task in the FCT and across the country for the benefit of the youth groups and vulnerable citizens.