By Obike Ukoh
Analysts observe that successive governments in the country have acknowledged the need for increasing Nigeria’s literacy rate through mass literacy, adult and non-formal education.
They note that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), puts illiteracy rate in the country at 38 per cent, a development that stakeholders say poses a serious challenge to national development.
Besides, UNESCO reports that the number of illiterates over the age of 15 is 25 million people, noting that if the rate continues to rise, the country may not be able to reach a technologically competitive standing in the world.
Stakeholders, therefore, opine that the Federal Government established the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) through Decree 17 of 1990 to address this challenge.
They also observe that Nigeria joined the forum of E-9 Countries — populous countries with large illiteracy population—at its inception to further reduce its illiterate population.
The E-9 Countries are Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Mexico that uphold cooperation on how to reduce the rate of illiteracy among them.
Observers express pleasure on Nigeria’s membership of the group, observing that UNESCO has raised the awareness that an individual who is literate is bound to possess concrete thinking and can learn new materials.
They insist that literacy remains a powerful tool for organising, extending and providing resources for transformation.
Considering the importance of literacy therefore, stakeholders insist that NMEC should be empowered to enable it to boost the country’s literacy rate.
For instance, Mr Aminu Suleiman, the Chairman House Committee on Education, in the 7th National Assembly, underscored the need to prioritise non-formal education and mass literacy in the country by the commission.
Speaking when he visited NMEC headquarters in Abuja, he said that with the current performance of the commission, it could do more with increased budgetary allocation.
Suleiman …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper