In tribute to Israel’s 70th Independence, the Embassy chose 70 boys and girls between the ages of 6-9, living in the Internally Displaced Camp in Durumi, Abuja and equipped them with 70 made in Nigeria tablets.
These tablets were fitted with basic learning applications that teach language and arithmetic skills. For 10 days, the children were given the opportunity to self-learn through these devices.
The idea was born 6 years ago, when Ambassador Guy Feldman served his country as an Ambassador in East Africa. During his assignment, he came across the idea to promote self-learning with the aid of technology.
At that time, children from less privileged backgrounds were given tablets to interact with. When checking their progress after a few weeks, the sponsors were astounded that the children had learned to communicate in basic English.
They were even proficient enough to teach some of the adults who were a bit hesitant to handle the new technology. Based upon this experience, the Ambassador chose to initiate a self-learning program for IDPs, here in Nigeria.
During the first visit to Durumi IDP camp, the children’s faces lit up in joy the moment they unveiled their academic companions. Pretty quickly they were singing along to a nursery rhymes application and by the second day, the children were able to navigate at ease through the devices.
Throughout the duration of the initiative they showed interest, eagerness and a rapid learning curb.
Many Nigerian children are keen to experience formal education, but are unable to, due to circumstances beyond their control.
In a country where 60 percent of its 200 million people are children under the age of 15, the attack on education has become a very worrisome and a less discussed aspect of the insurgency in the country. The fact that Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children in millions should be a wakeup call.
Children are children. The project the Embassy of Israel conducted just highlighted the innate ability and zeal of children to adapt to new methods of learning.
We must remember that skillful and informed adults are grown children who were exposed to the right educational opportunities.
With the completion of this project, we are optimistic that a message of hope will reverberate through Nigeria.