Posted by News Express | 9 September 2015 | 4,131 times
The federal government on Tuesday restated its commitment to improving on the current 50 per cent adult literacy rate in the country.
The acting Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Hajia Hindatu Abdullahi made this known at the commemoration of the 2015 International Literacy Day in Abuja.
Abdullahi said it was unfortunate that Nigeria failed to reach certain targets in pursuit of its Education-for-All (EFA) policy and the Millennium Development Goals objectives.
According to her, the failure to reach the set targets, limited the progress of literacy in the country.
“The 2013/2014 Global Monitoring report put the number of adult illiterates worldwide at 774 million out of which two-thirds are women, in spite of the huge resources expended by member states and donor partners.
“The recent review of E-9 countries, a group to which Nigeria belongs, shows that Brazil, China, Indonesia have attained 90 per cent literacy rate.
“Egypt and India 70 to 89 per cent while Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan have literacy rate of less than 70 per cent. In Pakistan and Nigeria, adult literacy rate is under 50 per cent.”
“This slow progress could be ascribed to the perennial problems of sub-Saharan Africa, which is characterised by huge population, conflicts, dwindling budgetary resources and extreme poverty among others.”
She, therefore, restated the federal government’s commitment towards breaching the literacy gap in the country to elevate its standards among other member countries.
“The Federal Government is committed to providing access to basic education and has put in place policies and programmes to strengthen institutional structures, to increase access and equity.
“Resulting in steady rise in primary school enrolment, Model Almajiri boarding schools were also put in place to integrate Qu’ranic education into the basic education system.
“Government generally directs more of their attention and resources at the formal education programme than the non-formal sub-sector which accounts for the larger number of illiterate adults and out-of-school youths.
“In Nigeria, the nine-year basic education is free and compulsory; this includes adult and non-formal education programmes to cater to adults and out of school children.”
Abdullahi commended some state governments for moving Non-Formal Education (NFE) forward through the review of enabling laws establishing state agencies of mass education in Anambra, Bauchi, Lagos, Jigawa, Kano, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Ondo States
She expressed the hope that with determination and with the huge human and material resources available, Nigeria can comprehensively respond to its global rating as a country with poor literacy indicators.
Earlier, the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) said the theme of the day ‘Literacy and Sustainable Societies’ was apt considering the challenges of education in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr. Jibrin Paiko, noted that literacy was at the centre of addressing the negative impacts without which all efforts at ensuring a literate and sustainable society would be wasted.
“Unless something drastic is done to accelerate literacy and education for all Nigerians, the country may fail to achieve significant milestones of its development targets in the post 2015 sustainable development.”
Paiko, therefore, emphasised the need for inclusive and equitable quality education to promote enduring learning opportunities for all. (NAN)
•Photo shows President Buhari
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