Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike
By Damilola Oyedele
Of the 3.5 million nomadic children in Nigeria, only about 450,000 have access to education.
This has contributed greatly to Nigeria having the highest number of out-of-school children at 10 per cent of the global rate having experienced a drop in enrolment at the primary school level.
These saddening statistics were presented at a review workshop themed ‘Revitalising Adult and Youth Literacy in Nigeria’ organised by the Ministry of Education, UNESCO and the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) in Abuja, Tuesday.
Speaking at the commencement of the workshop, Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said a strategic programme was being put in place to develop a national policy on the aspects of mass literacy in the country.
He added that the ministry was working hard to enhance the administration of adult and youth literacy by revitalising NMEC.
“As one of the countries in the world with the highest number of illiterates, Nigerian government remains committed to the ideals of UNESCO,” he said.
Executive Secretary of NMEC, Mr. Jibrin Paiko, listed some of the challenges being faced by the commission to include under funding, lack of political support in some states and lack of personnel trained for mass literacy provision.
He added that Nigeria is one of the 12 countries that may not attain education goals among the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The Country Representative of UNESCO, Dr. Joseph Ngu, reiterated that quality education is a right adding that educating girls would assist national development.
He lamented that the global economic crises were threatening to erode the gains made in the sector globally.
“We, at UNESCO would help to continue to plan, build and where necessary rebuild the education system, and intensify efforts to make quality education a reality,” Ngu added.