65m Nigerians still illiterate –UNESCO

65m Nigerians still illiterate –UNESCO

From Andy Asemota, Katsina
A literacy survey sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has shown that about 65 million Nigerians are still illiterate.
National Programme Advisor on Education, UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Dr. Mohammed Alkali made this known during an advocacy visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
He said people could be lifted out of poverty if they are 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 has suffered from very low funding and urged political leaders to develop the political will to fulfill their mandates by recruiting and paying UNESCO-trained facilitators.
He also revealed that UNESCO in collaboration with National Mass Education Commission (NMEC)  has 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.”
He however lamented that mass literacy facilitators in Katsina State were the least paid in the country with remuneration below the national benchmark of N7,500 per month for part-time facilitators.

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