'Talking Pen' Programme To Help 10,000 More Displaced Children Learn Vital Skills

"In Nigeria, more than 50% of school-age children below the age of 10 do not have basic reading and writing skills."

So says Gideon Olanrewaju, a former Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador who in 2014 founded AREAi (Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative), a nonprofit that has reached more than 45,000 children through its programs in under-resourced schools and marginalised communities.

Fast Track is Olanrewaju's latest effort at using technology to improve reading and writing skills for children living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to conflict and the Boko Haram insurgency in the north of the country, per the Guardian.

A Theirworld grant awarded in 2021 will allow Fast Track to expand to reach another 10,000 children in 10 camps.

"The accelerated skills development program helps children gain the foundational skills in English and Hausa they need to get into 'or' return to formal school education," Olanrewaju says.

A pilot project focused on children of primary school age, but Olanrewaju hopes to expand Fast Track to children between the ages of 13 and 18.
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