One-line solution summary.
A blended online and offline community learning platform that empowers young people across North Eastern Nigeria through access to basic foundational and soft skills.
What is your solution?
Street2School is an initiative that provides vulnerable young people (13-20 years) from marginalized communities across North East Nigeria access to basic literacy and numeracy and soft skills through our blended online and offline community learning hub. Where there is connectivity, our online platform connects youth volunteer educators (mainly students from tertiary institutions) to our target group (young people aged 13-20 years) from marginalized communities who provide 3 hours of learning and mentorship weekly. The online platform requires the user to have access to digital connectivity in order to access learning contents through WhatsApp which is a common collaborative tool for young people. For areas with no connectivity, we are leveraging the power of radio to drive our learning content to learners who may not have access to a WhatsApp or data bundles. Our offline platform makes use of local community spaces where young people who are registered members of a local community hub meet to access our learning content and, in their own language.
What specific problem are you trying to solve?
There are currently 64 million young people aged between 10 and 24 in Nigeria; 63% of these youths are in the North majority being female. In Nigeria, UNICEF reports that about 10.5 million children and young people are not in school despite primary education being free and compulsory. Over 29% of children in NE Nigeria instead receive Qur’anic education which does not include basic literacy and numeracy. The growing insurgency since 2009 in addition to the economic barriers and socio-cultural norms and practices has largely discouraged enrolment in formal education especially girls thereby leaving them disengaged and unproductive members in their communities. Through Streets2School, we are bridging this gap by providing alternative and accelerated pathways to access to basic literacy and numeracy skills for these young people especially girls.
Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our target population is out-of-school adolescents between the ages of 13- 20 years from marginalized communities across Northeastern Nigeria. This cohort of young people is mostly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who never got the opportunity to enroll in a formal school or dropped out of school due to armed conflict, as well as young girls that didn't enroll as a result of socio-cultural norms.
Our solution allows our target audience to access learning conveniently, build resilience and skills that better position them for opportunities in education, entrepreneurship, and employment.
What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?
The design thinking process allowed us to identify 3 key needs that needs to be fulfilled in order to get our target population to learn. First was the need to learn at user convenient time as most of our target population are vulnerable people from resource-limited backgrounds who have to seek for livelihood to support their families at the times when their peers are learning in a typical Nigerian conventional school (8am-2pm), secondly was the need to learn at user pace, this was for the fact that most of our target population have outgrown their appropriate education level and cannot easily learn with their peers, and finally the need to learn at user preferred local language. We were able to cater for these key needs by leveraging widely used digital communication platforms like whatsapp, Facebook as well as conventional media tools like radio sharing learning contents using voice notes, pictures and small byte videos while complimenting areas without digital connectivity with in person learning, both component (online and offline) were provided in local community spaces, at user convenient time, pace and local language (Hausa and Kanuri).
Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Improving learning opportunities and outcomes for learners across their lifetimes, from early childhood on (Learning)
Our solution's stage of development:Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?
We followed community-based testing, implementation and verification of both the online and off-line project design components. During the testing phase, we enrolled about 125 participants from two challenged communities (Kukawa and Ngala); 60% males and 40% females. The “Bulama '' often referred to as the community head kindly provided us a space in the community to use as classrooms to test our offline learning component. He also played an active role in mobilizing members of his community to have their children enroll in our program. We organized six in-person classes (of an hour each) during which the teachers/students provide feedback so that we can better evaluate our learning content and make changes where and when necessary. We also tested the online component creating a community of 25 learners and so far, we have gathered positive feedback from students and the teachers.
Information on our MVP can be accessed through the link below
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Maiduguri, Nigeria
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Technology plays an important role in our solution especially the use of free digital platforms like WhatsApp which is widely used by young people across Nigeria including those from marginalized communities in the North East. It is, for this reason, we are leveraging the power of WhatsApp – a very reliable, fast, and simple messaging technology (that uses XMPP Extensible Messaging Presence Protocol for streaming XML elements over a network to exchange messages and presence information in close to real-time) to reach as many young people through our online community hub where young people aged 13-20 years especially girls can access. Also, since most households have radio access, we are leveraging this tool through a partnership with a few local radio stations so that many of our target audience can easily access our learning content in their languages. In a quest to eliminate barriers such as internet connectivity and the cost of Radio airtime we are leveraging podcast (Anchor) to create audio learning contents that are stored in MicroSD cards and distributed through our online community learning hub, which can be listened to offline on devices like solar-powered Radios.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
In which countries do you currently operate?
How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.
In 2020, our solution directly reached 150 young boys and girls from 2 challenged communities in Maiduguri Borno, state. While we have improved our solution through feedback from users, we are planning to scale up our solution to 4 communities in the Maiduguri and Jere Local Government Areas of Borno State, Nigeria while serving 200 new direct users this year (2022).
What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?
Some of the major challenges out of school young people and our community experience are; Lack of employability skills which leads to Unemployment and generational poverty, vulnerability to join bad gangs that leads to insecurity in the community, Lack of dignity and self-esteem among many others.
Our vision is to reach over 2,000 young people aged 13-20 years from marginalized communities across North-Eastern Nigeria with alternative learning pathways to access basic literacy, numeracy, and soft skills by 2023 thereby equipping them with the necessary skills required to become productive in the communities.
Through our solution, we intend to reduce the population of out-of-school youth in North-eastern Nigeria through access to quality and relevant education and skills. We also want to substantially increase the number of youth who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, and entrepreneurship. We shall ensure that youth achieve literacy and numeracy.
How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?
The number of users of our solution is one of the major indicators of our progress towards our impact goals.
The number of our users that complete our program and as a result enroll into a formal school, get a decent job or start up a business.
The number of our users that obtain minimum proficiency level in literacy and numeracy skills.
How many people work on your solution team?
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
We are people from the northeast where opportunities are very few. We are fortunate to have met and created a highly diverse, gender-balanced team that brings unique skills and experiences to the table. We all come from this community and we have witnessed some of the challenges children and young people continue to face with regards to accessing basic learning opportunities. We understand the magnitude of the problem and the resulting consequences of not finding a lasting solution and while we cannot just wait on the government to do it all, we believe our solution would best address some of these challenges to an extent and ensure that these young people become more engaged and productive citizens in their communities. Through this project, we want to be the change factor that our community needs through youth power!
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
- Co-Development Hub and innovation and incubation hub that supports our project through capacity building, mentorship, and provision of workspace.
- Generation Unlimited is a UN Public, private, and Youth Partnership initiative that connects youth-led solutions to investment and capacity-building opportunities.
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Girls Save the World Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.No
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Pozen Social Innovation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.Yes