On February 7, Grant Administrator Mr. Audu Liman explained how AUN became one of the six organizations worldwide to win a grant for the Enabling Writers Project.
The other winners are Dhaka Asania Mission in Bangladesh, Library for All in Haiti, Yayasan Sulinama in Indonesia, World Education Inc. in Nepal, and University of San Jose-Recoletos in the Philippines.
The All Children Reading supports the writing initiative: Grand Challenge for Development program. This program seeks tech-based solutions to improve child literacy in developing countries. All six institutions will implement the Bloom apps, which won the “Enabling Writers” global prize competition for the children’s book writing software.
A partnership between AUN, USAID, World Vision, and the Australian government, Enabling Writers ensures the implementation of the program.
During the project launch, Mr. Liman said the University’s interaction with USAID started in 2016 when there was a call for a proposal to develop readers in indigenous mother tongues in five continents.
“AUN applied for this opportunity and we are delighted that we were successful as the first University in Africa to develop the largest language in Africa, which happens to be Hausa.”
Mr. Liman explained that it was easier for AUN to key into the project because in 2010, working with its students and faculty, the University had already started developing readers in Hausa and Fulfulde, two predominant languages of Adamawa State. “A number of readers were developed to provide children in Northern Nigeria with very short stories based on their everyday lives that they could read, and help develop their language.”
After the Students Empowered through Language and Arithmetic (STELLAR) project, Liman said the University was very fortunate to get funding from USAID to scale it up to the TELA project that ended in December 2016. This was a project in which students, staff and faculty members of AUN, through funding from USAID, developed over 160 readers in Hausa. These were used for over 22,000 children covered under TELA.
Mr. Liman then commended Dr. Grace Malgwi of SAS and the team who worked with the USAID-sponsored TELA project, and Ms. Nafisa Ado of USAID who helped link the team up with other institutions for help in Hausa language.
“I like to remind everyone that even though we do not have Hausa language department at the University, we have been very fortunate under the School of Arts and Sciences to have the English Language faculty and to have English and Hausa experts who have led this development.”
By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa