The Federal Government has said that it is planning, in collaboration with the 36 states and the various local government councils, to create a national programme that will address the educational needs of women and youths displaced by conflicts and other crises in the country.

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The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this in Abuja at a Literacy Roundtable discussion organised by the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education.

The roundtable, which started on Saturday and continued during the week, was themed, “Literacy and multilingualism: A bedrock for sustainable National development.”

The minister, whose address was read by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said, “Nigeria is a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which itself devotes considerable attention to literacy and adult learning. Consequently, we pledge, as a nation, that by 2030, all the youths and a substantial proportion of Nigerian adults, both men and women, should achieve a certain level of appreciable literacy.

“It is necessary that the Federal Government, working with the states and local governments, takes urgent steps to launch a national programme to address the learning needs of youths, adults, girls, women and out-of-school children and those displaced by conflicts and other crises.

“To address the various challenges in our education sector, the Federal Ministry of Education has developed a roadmap captioned, Education for change: A ministerial strategic plan. This document aims at repositioning Nigeria’s education sector for it to play a central role in our determination to improve the lives of citizens.”

The NMEC Executive Secretary, Prof Abubakar Haladu, noted that the commission had been working with experts and stakeholders to develop “policy and documents, curriculums and materials in various aspects” of education so as to uplift the country from its current illiteracy statistics.

Haladu said, “In addition to the problem of out-of-school children, Nigeria is being confronted by the challenge of high illiteracy rate among its adult and youth populations, and which has remained a major impediment to the country’s development aspirations.

“Given the enormity of the mass illiteracy challenge, the Federal Government needs to take a lead, plan and execute a National Mass Literacy Programme. The goal is to improve on their mode of living and to open up opportunities for the under-privileged.

“In view of the important roles of states and local governments in the implementation of such a mass-oriented intervention, we urge the state governors to demonstrate the needed political will by allocating resources for the adult and non-formal education sector in their respective states.”

Also, the Chairman of the NMEC Governing Board, Alhaji Gidado Bello, at the roundtable, urged the Federal Ministry of Education to continue in the “difficult but achievable task of uplifting our people out of poverty and illiteracy.”

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