The National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non Formal Education (NMEC) is to engage state agencies for mass education and indirectly the Imo State government to champion Literacy through Economic Empowerment Strategy (LEES) initiative.
This is to provide literacy as well as skills to out-of-school children, unemployed youths, in addition to street children, men and women to reduce criminality and enhance the socio-economic status of the state.
Simon Akpama Ibor, executive secretary of the Commission, made the disclosure at a forum in Owerri, on the level of implementation of literacy through Economic Empowerment Strategy (LEES) projects in the South East zone.
Recall that Akpama Ibor had on assumption of office in September 2021 introduced the “LEES Initiative” as a way of empowering outstanding graduands of learning centres, increasing enrolment and boosting the overall capacity in the non-formal education sector.
The project, which is tailored to assess learners in different vocational skills like tailoring, hairdressing, home economics/catering among others in the six geo-political zones of the country was envisioned to enable the beneficiaries become self reliant, self employed and job creators.
“This will indirectly draw them out of poverty, reduce crimes and other vices related to poverty and unemployment,” he said.
Represented by the acting director, Special Programmes of the commission, Alugbere Rose, the executive secretary also said that the LEES initiative which had already been carried out in South-South, North-East, North-West and North–Central came on board to redress the culture of some indigent clients who after acquiring literacy and vocational skills lack the resources and wherewithal to start their own business thereby bringing them back to square one.
Nnenna Jane Ejieji, HoD, Vocal Skills and Continuous Education, NMEC, while giving a brief background of LESS, enjoined state governments to emulate the Commission in its efforts to promote self–reliance, self employment and job creation among the youth.
She listed items to be given out to the 18 beneficiaries of the programmes in the orders of: first, second and third positions to include: embroidery, fashion designing, catering, washing Hand Rollers, Towels Cylinders, Regulator, a Set of pot, ken Wood, embroidery scissors, adding that the Beauty Winner would smile home with two Hair dryers even as she assured that none of the attendants would go home empty-handed.
Meanwhile, the director, Basic Education Department Federal Ministry of Education, Folake Olatunji-David through the deputy director (DD Languages) of the ministry; Afolabi Taiwo noted that literacy not only enriches one’s life, but also creates opportunities for people to develop skills that would help them provide for themselves and their families.
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“The purpose is to make learners self reliant, self employed as well as employers of labour thereby reducing the level of poverty in the country, reduce social ills and also boost the nation’s economy,,” she said .
Johncliff Nwadike, Imo State commissioner for education, disclosed that the state government had already graduated a total of 15,000 youths in various skills acquisition programmes with a set of computer for each to become self-reliant and employer of labour.
He noted that the programme, if implemented with greater vigour and seriousness, would stem the tide of the growing immorality and criminality in the country and pledged the support of the state government to it.