Last week, ARDA facilitated a treatment workshop in Abuja for the Northern Educational Initiative Plus (NEI+) an initiative that seeks to increase literacy and enrolment in Northern Nigeria.
The Initiative is taking place in two Northern Nigerian states, Sokoto and Bauchi, where single-digit literacy rates amongst school aged children are in the single digits. In addition, girl children are especially vulnerable. There are many factors that have caused this alarming situation including structural, community and household factors, as well as school-related factors.
What NEI+ seeks to do is strengthen local systems to increase the number of students enrolled in appropriate, relevant and approved educational options, particularly for girls and underserved children in target locations and improve reading outcomes for primary grade learners in the target locations.
To this effect, the Initiative has designed a multi-channel media campaign aimed at both literate and illiterate parents that will hopefully push parents to send their children and/or wards to school equally, regardless of whether they are male or female.
NEI+ will be reaching out to these audiences through radio and mobile. On radio there will be Public Service Announcements (PSAs), jingles and drama skits, while on mobile, Interactive Voice Recordings (IVRs), and Texts (SMS) will be used to disseminate the message.
ARDA’s role at this workshop was to facilitate the workshop, sharing our vast experience in radio programme design and production with the attendees. We were represented by our Project Coordinator, Rebecca Ojedele, and Programme Assistant, Ajemina Ogan.
“We did both the design document and treatment at this workshop,” Ms. Ogan said. She said. “It wasn’t a full series of 26 episodes like some of our previous workshops but all the various media things- IVR, drama skits- meant it just as busy.
Ms. Ogan who has been with ARDA for about a year now said she really learned how to work faster at this workshop. “With NURHI, for instance, we work on the clock as well, but here we were really on the clock, it was almost immediate. We were scripting and sending them for review almost immediately and acting on the feedback, so we really had to work fast.”
Apart from ARDA and NEI+ staff, there were also community leaders and stakeholders from the target communities. “It was a good opportunity to meet people from other cultures in the country. Traditional rulers from Sokoto and Bauchi attended the workshop, and they are really passionate about their language and culture, so it was a good opportunity to learn about them,” Ms. Ogan said.
Since the treatment and script have already been approved, next comes production. Our intrepid staff members will be flying up North to handle the productions in the coming weeks. See you then!