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International Literacy Day: Nigeria’s Out Of School Children Reduces To 6.9m

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It is estimated that over 6.9million children are out of school in Nigeria and this is in addition to the estimated 38 percent of non literate population in the country.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu made this known in Abuja while briefing Journalists on the commemoration of the 2021 International Literacy Day.

According to the Minister, investing in education of the parents will have ripple effect in the reduction of out of school.

Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, stressed that the Federal Government is determined to confront adult literacy programmes with the same zeal it is addressing out of school children.

We look forward to improving budgetary provisions in this regard in the coming years, it is our belief that confronting adult illiteracy and paying attention to out of School children is a comprehensive approach towards resolving the challenges of Out of School Children on a sustainable basis

He further stated that the theme of the 2021 IDL, Literacy For A Human Centered  Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide , “is apt and timely considering the focus and Change agenda of this administration to reposition all sectors of the economy including Education”

Also, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay charged the Federal Government to come up with diverse solutions for distance, face-to-face and hybrid learning for literacy.

Azoulay, who was represented by Mr Mammadou Sow, UNESCO Regional Education advisors, also called for equitable and inclusive access to technology-enabled literacy programmes to be integrated into learning of reading and writing skills and digital skills.

He added that there was also need for the country to develop a national framework that would provide sound financial  structure for literacy education.

He further called for the adoption of an appropriate type of technology to support the good teaching approach, learning content, assessment and certification.

“ The current shift to digital teaching and learning has further widened the inequlaities to the detriment of the non-formal education sub-sector. 

 “This shift has also highlighted the persistent digital divide in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, and the ability to engage with technology. 

 “According to the International Telecommunications Union, nearly half of the world’s people (3.7 billion) do not use the Internet, many of whom are in least developed countries, and urban-rural disparities and gender gaps continue to be present. 

 “In sub-Saharan Africa, only 7.7 percent were estimated to have a computer at home. Household internet access in the region is still limited with a rate of approximately 22 percent,” she added.

He however called for action to facilitate literacy teaching and lifelong learning among youths and adults.

In November 1966,UNESCO proclaimed 8th September of every year as the International Literacy Day,to draw global attention to the status of literacy and lifelong learning,as well as highlight the linkage between literacy and the development of individuals and Nations.

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