• Friday, April 12, 2024
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Nigeria’s illiteracy rate is now 31%, says FG

Minister tasks South-West governors to increase budgetary allocation to education

The Federal Government on Tuesday said the number of illiterate Nigerians is now at an estimated 31 percent.

Data from the ministry of education revealed that as of September 2021, 38 percent of the estimated 200 million population, representing over 76 million adults, are non-literates. But Goodluck Opiah, minister of state for education, speaking at the ministerial briefing to mark the 2022 International Literacy Day, said the figure has dropped despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is heart-warming to note that the current statistics of 2022, based on estimations, captured the non-literate population at about 31 percent of the estimated total population. This is a significant reduction from the hitherto statistics of 38 percent in 2015,” he said.

The minister said the government has recorded successes in its effort to improve literacy levels. According to him, some of them include guaranteed additional access to adult and non-formal education programmes in 377 centres across the 36 states and FCT, empowered graduands of basic literacy and vocational programmes with skills and income generating equipment in three major trades: fashion and design, home economics, (including beauty and cosmetology) and provided teaching and learning materials to all the 36 state agencies for adult and non-formal education among others.

Read also: Nigeria’s 95% digital literacy by 2030 promising – Pantami

Opiah said the theme of the 2022 International Literacy Day; “Transforming literacy learning spaces; exploring opportunities and possibilities” was an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy in building resilience and ensuring quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.

He assured of the government’s commitment to continually adopt existing and emerging transformation innovations in the literacy learning spaces, and create learner-centric learning spaces.

“As we collectively forge ahead in the utilisation of digital modernisation as offered by emerging global technologies, Nigeria has adopted a holistic approach that involves all key stakeholders in meeting the learning needs of youths and adults of different profiles and in different environments,” he said.

International Literacy Day is a day observed all over the world to reaffirm commitment to promoting education and literacy.