Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 November 2012

Southern Africa: Primary School Enrolment Slowing - UNESCO

Enrollment into primary schools is slowing down in Sub-Saharan Africa especially Nigeria, Country Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Joseph Ngu, said yesterday in Abuja.

Ngu, who spoke at the Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy in Nigeria project review said, "very strong political will" is required to ensure that literacy rates improve to move Nigeria closer to achieving Education For All (EFA).

He said the global economic crisis is threatening to erode past successes achieved under the EFA initiative but UNESCO is intensifying efforts to make quality education a reality for all.

He said the international community acknowledges efforts of the Nigerian government to improve literacy not only by committing financial resources but also its level of cooperation with UNESCO.

Minister of State for Education Barrister Nyesom Wike said Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest number of illiterates will continue to collaborate with International Development Partners (IDPs) to increase access to quality education.

Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC), Jibrin Paiko, said to reach its target of educating 30 million illiterates by 2015, the commission is working towards increasing enrolment of learners and expanding mass literacy centres nationwide.

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