12 November 2012

Nigeria Mulls Collaboration With India, Indonesia On ICT for Mass Literacy

The Federal Government has said it is exploring the possibility of collaborating with India and Indonesia on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance mass literacy delivery among women, girls and the marginalised rural population.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i, said this while speaking at the opening session of the ninth E-9 Ministerial Review in New Delhi, India, recently where she added that Nigeria was adopting an integrated approach to mass literacy.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY by the minister's media aide, Mr. Aliyu Othman, Nigeria and three other E- 9 countries have adopted clear cut strategies for the intervention.

"In the case of India, literacy programme focuses on rural women, Egypt adopted national campaign to fight illiteracy, Mexico focuses on learning needs of illiterate indigenous groups and in Nigeria, model centres were built mainly for girls as well as the development of primers in 22 minority languages," Rufa'i said.

She harped on the need for constant monitoring of the learning centres and delivery of materials to the centers to make the measures taken to be effective.

The minister also advocated for mass literacy models to be linked to employment generation and vocational skills acquisition at the centres.

Rufa'i urged E-9 countries to harness additional resources from development partners such as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) of the United Nations, so that through such efforts the mission of mass literacy will be achieved.

Meanwhile the World Bank is discussing with stakeholders in the nation's education sector in a bid to establish centres of excellence in some universities in the country as part of its mandate on the continent.

The Managing Director of the Bank in Nigeria, Mr. Andreas Blom, said this at a consultative forum organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja recently.

According to a statement issued by the NUC, yesterday, Blom added that the bank wanted to learn from the universities, to develop the project design, and also to hear from the universities on how the project might benefit them.

The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, advised that the CoEx must be relevant to the needs of the country, if their objectives were to be achieved.

Okojie added that the relevant human and materials resources must be provided to sustain the centre.

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