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22 Sep 2017

Why 70 Million Nigerians Can Not Read & Write –FG

The Federal Government, yesterday, described the rate of illiteracy in the country as alarming.

Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, said the country had about 65 million to 75 million illiterates

Adamu said this when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Atiku Bagudu, of Kebbi State, in Birnin Kebbi yesterday.

The minister and delegates were in the state for a two-day International Literacy Day conference organised by the National Commission for Mass Education.

The minister described the illiteracy ratio as unbecoming and high, “considering the country’s population.

“Education is the bedrock of any country’s development and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail.
“Unfortunately, in Nigeria we have a very large population of illiterates; the illiterates figure, considering our population, is unbecoming,’’ he reiterated.

Adamu, who was represented by Mr Jonathan Mbaka, the Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, said that the federal government is targeting educating out-of-school children.

The minister said this is part of its strategic plan to reduce the number of the illiterates in the country.

“Government is doing all it can to reduce the number of children that are out of school. This includes adoption of inclusive education, where every Nigerian will be given the opportunity to go to school, regardless of background, ethnicity and gender,’’ he said.

Adamu commended the governor’s wife, Hajiya Aisha, for reducing the number of out-of-school children and illiterates in Kebbi state, through her Mass Almajiri Literacy and Poverty Alleviation Initiative (MALPAI).

In his response, the governor said most security challenges the country face are manifestations of the level of illiteracy in the country.

“We have an army of people whose inability to read can be exploited by divisive elements in the country.”

Bagudu commended them for ignoring the fears and tension created by a few group of people by assembling in the state to deliberate on how to reduce illiteracy in the country.

“I am proud that we are hosting eminent delegates from across the federation at the time like this,where there is tension, and fear in Nigeria.

“For you to ignore fears that a few people cannot intimidate us is commendable. Our destiny remains in our hands and not allowing inconsequential elements to determine our fate is also commendable,’’ he said.

The governor attributed the high illiteracy rate in Nigeria to Boko Haram insurgency, and said many of the sect’s followers only know the Quran but can not interpret and digest its meanings.
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