56 million Nigerians are illiterate – Mass Education Commission




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ABUJA – The National Mass Education Commission (NMEC) has said that Nigeria’s illiteracy level had continued to rise with about 56 adults illiterate.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji Jibrin Paiko, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Paiko said the commission was worried by the alarming figure which put more than 35 per cent of the country’s adult as uneducated.

He said that the commission had mapped out various programmes that would help address the issue.

“The Revitalising Adult and Youth Literacy Programme is on course where 11 master trainers for each state have been trained between and June last year.

“Also 111 facilitators have been trained and we are scaling up the training programme to the zonal level with additional 20 facilitators for each state excluding Rivers State and the FCT,” he said.

According to him, the two states were chosen for a pilot project by UNESCO, where it sources for funding for the commission to train learners.

Paiko said $1 dollars were given for the project by Procter and Gamble (a multi-national company), to train 60,000 women and girls in skills acquisition.

He, however, said the commission was facing a lot of challenges in pursuing many of its literacy programmes noting that funding had continued to be the biggest.

Paiko said non-payment of facilitators’ allowances by states was also of the biggest obstacles to achieving the goals of the commission.

He said that to address the issue, states’ commissioners of education were made to sign letters of undertaking that their states would pay facilitators before the commencement of the various training programmes.

The Executive Secretary said the commission was for a stakeholders meeting with the Universal Basic Education Commission, states commissioners of education and others to fashion out ways of addressing the issue.

He commended states like Zamfara, Ondo and Kano for establishing programmes that were in line with global best practices for educational development.

Paiko said NMEC, in collaboration with UNESCO, was exploring the idea of conducting research on such practises to validate them and see how they could be applied nationwide. (NAN