Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike
Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has called for a global push towards attaining Education for All, EFA, goals by 2015 to foster greater progress in developing countries.
Wike, who spoke at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at the High Level Round-Table on Literacy, ‘Reaching the 2015 Literacy Target, Delivering on the promise’, stated that the countries of the world with high illiterate population must rise to take pragmatic action to build their knowledge base for development.
The minister informed the international community that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration has made literacy a key development issue, pointing out that investments have been made to increase literacy level in the country.
Wike, who noted that the nation was partnering with UNESCO to institutionalise literacy revitalisation programmes, also disclosed that the government had paid N1billion to UNESCO as commitment on the partnership.
“In convening this forum, UNESCO is asserting its leadership role of the EFA movement as well as acting as a catalyst to ensure that countries harness available resources to meet national and international commitments to development and remain on track towards education for all.
“We have certainly made strides since the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000. Across a number of our countries, we have witnessed increased enrollment in primary and basic education and expanded opportunities for the acquisition of education,” he said.
He urged countries with literacy challenges to form more lines of collaboration to create further access to education for their citizens.
In a related development, Wike also called on female teachers to be at the forefront for the advocacy on increased enrolment of girls in schools across the country. Declaring open the 5th National Conference of National Association of Female Teachers, NAFET, in Abuja, Wike said the presence of female teachers in the system is critical to encouraging girls to embrace education.
He said: “The relevance of female teachers cannot be over-emphasized. Apart from your primary responsibilities as providers of knowledge and skills, female teachers are relevant for enhancing girls enrolment, retention and performance in our schools.”
The minister challenged female teachers and other women leaders to serve as inspirational teachers in the school system, saying “While the government is doing its best within the limitation of resources to provide a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning to take place in our schools, the expectations of parents in terms of students achievements and performance may yet be realised unless teachers across all levels of the education system demonstrate patriotic commitment to their duties.”