Despite the efforts and promises by governments both past and present to improve on the literacy level of the average Nigerian, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says that about 65 million Nigerians still cannot read or write.
National Programme Advisor on Education, UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Dr. Mohammed Alkali made this disclosure during an advocacy visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Kastina State.
Alkali said people could be lifted out of poverty if they were empowered with basic reading skills, adding, “Just nine months of literacy increases a person’s earning by up to 10 per cent.”
He, however, pointed out that the non-formal education sector had suffered from very low funding and urged political leaders to develop the political will to fulfil their mandates by recruiting and paying UNESCO-trained facilitators.
He also revealed that UNESCO in collaboration with the National Mass Education Commission (NMEC) had embarked on a project to revitalise adult and youth literacy with the target of reducing Nigerian illiteracy rate by between five to six million youths and adults.
Dr. Alkali stated that the project was developed with “strategic partnerships initiatives sharing responsibilities Between UNESCO, Federal Government, states and local government areas to achieve the target results.
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