63m Nigerians still can’t read, write – minister - OBI-AFRICA

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

63m Nigerians still can’t read, write – minister

The Federal Government on Monday lamented that the illiterate level in Nigeria has not abated with over 63 million of the country’s population who cannot read or write.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, spoke while addressing newsmen to formally flag off the 2017 International Literacy Day, in Abuja, with the theme: “Literacy in a digital world”.
He expressed concern that this number has remained on the high side in spite of the concerted efforts being made by the successive administration to address the menace.
According to him, over 11. 5 million Nigerian students’ children are out of school, especially aggravated by the insurgency in the North eastern part of the country.
Adamu, however, said all over the world illiteracy remained a big social and cultural problem, which has continued to affect the socio-economic development of a nation.
He said: “In the modern world of today, illiteracy remains a big social and cultural problem, one that can also hinder the economic development of society because without literacy and culture of literate citizenship, there would be no meaningful development, especially in a situation in which a large number of the citizens can either read or write.
“Worldwide, 750 million adults today still lack even the most basic literacy skills. Some 264 million children and illiteracy levels in Nigeria at about 63 million.
“It is also estimated that over 11.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria. A large share of children who are in school are not attaining the learning outcome benchmarks. Addressing this skills gap is an educational and development imperative,” he said.
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He said for the nation to be able to address its security and economic challenges, there must be a functional education to all Nigerians, saying this has been the focus of the current administration.
“The security, stability and economic prosperity of Nigeria depend, to a large extent, on her ability to provide functional education to all citizens. One way of addressing unemployment and social vices in concrete terms is in the provision of inclusive quality education for all,” he said.
The Minister of Education, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Sunny Echono, emphasised the importance of Information, Communication and Technology, ICT, in creating greater access to information and communications among the population.
Executive Secretary of National Commission for Mass Literacy (NMEC), Mr Abba Haladu, said 10 million youth and adults would benefit from it special basic literacy scheme between 2017 and Year 2020.
He said 10million Nigerians are targets under the Commission’s Rural Learners facilitator scheme.
He said NMEC had already opened 19 basic literacy classes as pilot scheme in 19 states of the federation to enable learners acquire basic literacy education.
“At our level, NMEC intervention of 2016 capital budget, we roll out a program called rural learners facilitator, the government is envisaging that in the next three years, over 10 million Nigerians will be targeted for mass literacy Education program”
“We are soliciting the support of federal, state and local government and we hope that government will finance the project and that the government will give the sector the attention it deserves”, he said

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