American University of Nigeria to review Buhari Administration’s policy document

American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola

The American University of Nigeria, Monday, will host Ike Chioke of Afrinvest West Africa Ltd, the Managing Director of Afrinvest West Africa, headquartered in Lagos, who will lead an interactive session involving students, faculty, and staff regarding proposed new policies outlined by in-coming Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

The University plans to share the outcome of the review session with representatives of the new government. AUN President Margee Ensign, announcing the proposed talk in Yola, described it as “a wonderful opportunity to have some input on new policies and programs”.

The main working document for the talk will be “Roadmap to a New Nigeria”, the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress, the new coalition party which swept the most recent national elections in Nigeria.

With investment banking experience spanning 22 years, Mr. Chioke–who holds a B.Sc. Civil Engineering (First Class Honors) from the University of Ife, and an MPhil in Management Studies from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar–will bring his deep knowledge of the workings of the Nigerian economy to an analysis of policy alternatives and the challenges facing Nigeria’s new President.

The American University of Nigeria has also announced that the 2015 Commencement Speaker will be Vicky Colbert, a woman who has revolutionized education in the developing world.

In announcing the selection of Ms. Colbert, AUN President Ensign said: “We are all so happy that an educator as internationally known and distinguished has found the time to visit us. As Africa’s first ‘development university’, we are anxious to hear of her wonderful experiences in the developing world, where her work has brought education and hope to so many millions of children across the globe.”

Primary education is much on the minds of many at AUN, which is currently striving with its local community to feed and educate hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Boko Haram to the north. Yola is currently home to 400,000 such displaced persons, over 200,000 of them children, who are mostly out of school and who do not have the resources for basic education.

Ms. Colbert, who began her work in Colombia, faced similar challenges in trying to bring high quality education to the impoverished rural people of that nation. Her new model of teaching and learning has won her praise worldwide, and her methods have been widely emulated, with success, not just in Latin America but far beyond.

First conceived in 1975 to provide complete primary basic education in Colombia and to improve the quality and effectiveness of schools, Colbert designed the Escuela Nueva model of education. The model became her professional life project. She has devoted her life to promoting schools based on its pedagogy, ensuring its quality and sustainability over time, innovating and adapting it to different contexts and countries, ensuring that it has an impact on national policies, and keeping it in the educational public agenda.

Escuela Nueva is a social innovation that provides a cost effective, replicable, and scalable solution to the issue of low quality education. The model encourages a strong relationship between the school and the community. Flexible promotion allows students to advance from one grade or level to another and complete academic units at their own pace.

Colbert has held many official posts, including Vice-Minister of Education of Colombia and UNICEF Regional Education Adviser for the LAC Region, and has garnered countless awards, including the first Clinton Global Citizenship Award.

Described by the World Bank in 1989 as “one of the three most outstanding reforms in the developing countries worldwide that has gone to national scale,” her educational model has been successfully implemented in 16 countries, impacting many millions of students.

Ms. Colbert will be speaking on the Yola campus of the American University of Nigeria on May 9th.


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