Vanguard (Lagos)

18 December 2012

Nigeria: '10.1 Million Children Dropped Out of School in 2012'

Uyo — Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, Alhaji Jibrin Paiko, has called for a national assessment of literacy practices, if Nigeria is to present a realistic account of its Universal Basic Education achievements by 2015.

Paiko, who spoke at a workshop organised by Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, on revamping adult literacy for sustainable development in the Niger Delta region, noted that 10.1 million children were out of school in 2012, according to United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, report.

He said: "This situation requires the commitment of everybody if we must come out of the woods. While there is need for everyone to join hands with the leadership to search for solution to these myriads of problems, the role of adult literacy must, therefore, be given adequate attention."

Aside lack of access, infrastructures, teaching and learning materials, he said the greatest challenge facing education was inadequate funding by the three tiers of government.

"Adult and non-formal education at all levels of government seems to suffer seriously from under funding. There is real need, therefore, to consult widely and come up with a reliable and workable funding mechanism if Nigeria hopes to attain EFA and Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, within the set targets.

"States and local government areas need to take greater responsibility and treat adult education with the seriousness it deserves. The lack of consistent and adequate funding, vision, strategy, and coordination has made literacy programmes to fall through the cracks," he added.

He noted that there was also need for the recruitment and training of competent adult education personnel, who would carry out programmes on adult education in the country.

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