The National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education says COVID-19 will not hamper its commitment to mass education and tackling barriers to quality adult and non-formal education.
Its executive secretary, Maryam Khalid, disclosed this in Abuja at a literacy roundtable discussion with the theme, ‘Literacy Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 Crises and Beyond’.
Khalid noted that the recent COVID-19 crisis had magnified the existing literacy challenges, deeply affecting schooling and lifelong learning opportunities, including youths and adults with no or low literacy skills.
She pointed out that with the COVID-19 pandemic and current high adult literacy rate in the country, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand critical reflection and re-strategising at this time.
“Indeed, Non-Formal Education (NFE) activities declined in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating barriers for children and out-of-school youths,” she explained.
Khalid revealed that the flagship programme of the commission, ‘Literacy by Radio’, was resuscitated during the COVID-19 crisis, providing states and NGOs with primers, facilitators guide, payment of airtime, facilitators’ stipends for three months.
The programme is ongoing in Abia, Jigawa, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Rivers, and Yobe.
Khalid promised that the commission would intensify its commitment to exploring other alternatives to ensure that everyone gets involved in literacy initiatives.