Educational Crisis in 
Northeast Nigeria

According to UNICEF, Nigeria has “10.5 million out-of-school children—the world’s highest number. Sixty percent of those children are in northern Nigeria” (UNICEF, 2018). Of the students who actually attend school, many are not learning—either they cannot read or write, or they do not speak English, which is the national language of Nigeria. To further complicate the situation, attacks by insurgents at schools, such as the Buni Yadi attack in 2014, in which 59 boys were killed, or the 2014 kidnapping of 276 girls in Chibok village, have instilled fear in the region, and led to many families deciding not to send their children to school. 


The SENSE Activity is a USAID-funded project led by the American University of Nigeria, with sub-awardees Kent State University and  Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development. Together, these institutions aim to improve educational outcomes for children in
Northeast Nigeria. 


Our Strategy 


All activities within this program are integrated. Literacy and Math instruction has been carefully paired with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) content. The instructional materials in the SENSE Boxes (coming soon) are designed to be closely integrated with the Teachers’ Guides and Pupils’ Books, and provide hands on learning experiences. Future terms and revised editions of this Teacher Guide will have specific instructions on how to use the content in your SENSE Boxes to supplement and enhance classroom learning.

Our Mission
  •  Increase the capacity of education managers, emphasizing female leaders and teachers.

  • Reach 200 schools in Northeast Nigeria.

  • Provide teachers with psychosocial support for victims of violence, trauma, and terrorism.

  • Improve the teaching skills of 5,000 teachers.

  • Provide quality teaching and learning Materials 

  • Impact 200,000 students in Northeast Nigeria, Gombe and Adamawa states. 

 Recent Updates 

The SENSE Activity

This project in Northeast Nigeria is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Education in Northeast Nigerian States (SENSE) Activity.

This project required considerable inputs from a wide range of people and institutions. We are grateful to USAID for the support that makes this vital project possible. USAID’s input and emphasis towards inclusive, equitable and quality education for all children in Nigeria, particularly the most vulnerable, is greatly appreciated.

Audu Liman

Chief of Party, American University of Nigeria

Radhika Iyengar, PhD

Principal Investigator, Columbia University

Marianne Martens, PhD

Principal Investigator, Kent State University

© 2020 SENSE Activity