Opportunities to Learn


We work to ensure out-of-school children and young people in North Eastern Nigeria are safely able to gain foundational skills, including literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional skills, to progress to higher levels of education, training and/or engagement in the workforce.

The education crisis in North Eastern Nigeria is one of the most pressing challenges to strengthening resilience, development and peace in the region. Children and youth in the Borno and Yobe states face protracted conflict, forced displacement, economic uncertainty, food insecurity and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in widespread poverty, lost livelihoods and years of education missed. Under the 5-year Opportunities to Learn activity, the International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Plan International, the American University in Nigeria, Inclusive Development Partners and Restoration of Hope Initiative aim to address the immediate education needs of out-of-school children and young people in up to 12 local government areas through safer, new and existing non formal education, while laying the groundwork for sustainable improvement of education systems at the community and government levels.

What are we doing?

The project seeks to work across five mutually reinforcing goals:

  1. Children and young people have increased access to quality accelerated basic education.
  2. Children and young people are safe in and around basic education learning environments.
  3. Nonformal education facilitators deliver approved curriculum using age-appropriate pedagogy and instructional materials.
  4. Children and young people successfully transition into local formal education and training opportunities.
  5. Local and state education institutions have increased capacity to manage, oversee and certify learning in nonformal learning centers.

Plan will be responsible for overseeing activities under 1 and 5 within Yobe state.

Under area 1, Plan and consortium partners will: foster enhanced learning outcomes for children by providing tailored support to nonformal learning centers based on assessed needs; enhance the capacities of learners to pass required enrollment exams for primary school level 4, junior secondary school level 1, senior secondary and vocational training programs, expand on nonformal learning models to identify solutions for reaching more children and youth; and build on the use of Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria (AENN)-approved accelerated basic education program for the local cultural context, conflict environment, teacher ability levels and language (Hausa, Kanuri, English) to ensure continued use of relevant teaching and learning materials.

Under area 5, Plan and consortium partners will increase the ability for state and local education authorities to plan for, budget, manage and ensure the quality of nonformal education, develop a guide on mainstreaming Accelerated Basic Education Program learners, and formalize continuous assessment tests and certification standards. Importantly, we will ensure that state and local education officials have ready access to actionable data through data hubs, and support youth organizations in each state to form networks and thereby amplify their power and voice to keep education officials accountable.

Opportunities to Learn will be implemented for five years between 2021 and 2026, and the Plan budget is $5.5 million.


stats and facts

out-of-school children and youth aged 10-15 benefit from the program.
nonformal learning centers to receive improvements.
learning facilitators will receive training.

Mziyakwa was forced to drop out of school when she was 9 and her village was attacked. She is now participating in an accelerated education program for children whose education was interrupted.

Many parents in Nigeria struggle to pay for learning material, which forces children to drop out of school. In 2021, Plan provided 14,000 children with school supply kits.

Violence in northern Nigeria has interrupted school for many young people. Through Plan, Sayiya was given the opportunity to receive financial skills and equipment to start her own knitting business.

Plan International USA

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