By Usman Shuaibu
The Honourable Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, has said that a literate society is free from all forms of social vices and has the capacity to be globally competitive.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, on the occasion of International Literacy Day celebration in Abuja with the theme “Literacy and Skills Development”, added that a literate society is free from corruption, crime insecurity and where they exist, has mechanism to proffer solutions to all forms of vices.
Prof. Anwukah emphasised “literacy is critical to the development and enhancement of skills; skillfulness enhances resourcefulness, empower one with knowledge to excel in whatever he or does.”
He also informed that the ministry in collaboration with stakeholders and development partners is focused in the area of skills development with a view to upgrading equipment and machines in the Federal Science and Technology Colleges as well as building capacity of technical and vocational teachers through budgetary allocations.
The Minister further said: “The Ministry of Education apart from its effort to provide the necessary state of the art equipment and machines for the Federal Science and Technical Colleges through budgetary allocation is also building the capacity of technical and vocational teachers”
In her opening remarks, the Director, Educational Planning, Research and Development, FME, Dr. Chioma Nwadei, said that the purpose of the International Literacy Day which was proclaimed by United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965, to promote literacy as a tool that could empower individuals and community to attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development and to combat worldwide issues of illiteracy and its attendant consequences.
Also, she noted that this year’s celebration is a remarkable one for Nigeria because the Nigeria Prison Service will be receiving the 2018 International Literacy Day Award; a prestigious Award recognizing excellence and innovation in Paris.
Delivering the goodwill message on behalf of the Director-General, UNESCO, the Secretary-General of UNESCO, Mr. Kehinde Ayotunde, said “literacy reduces poverty and inequality, creates wealth, and helps to eradicate problems of nutrition and public health”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, Prof. Abba Haladu solicited support from the government, international development partners and other stakeholders “to advance the course of literacy by coming in to improve conditions and environments required for learners to acquire, use and advance literacy and other skills to lead to better cognitive, social and development outcomes as a sure path for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”