By Maryam Garba Hassan.
Nigeria’s illiteracy level has continued to rise with 56 million adults of the country’s current population still illiterate, the National Mass Education Commission (NMEC), has said.
Executive Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji Jibrin Paiko, disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja.
Paiko said the Commission was worried by the alarming figure which put 35 per cent of the country’s adult as uneducated, and had mapped out various programmes that would help address the issue.
He said the Revitalising Adult and Youth Literacy Programme is on course where 11 master trainers for each state have been trained between May and June 2013.
He said 111 facilitators have been trained and are scaling up the training programme to the zonal level with additional 20 facilitators for each state excluding Rivers States and the FCT.
According to him, the two states were chosen for a pilot project by UNESCO where it sources for funding to train learners adding that one million dollars has been given for the project by Procter and Gamble to train 60,000 women and girls in skills acquisition.
He, however, said the Commission was facing a lot of challenges in pursuing many of its literacy programmes noting that funding had continued to be the biggest.
Paiko said non-payment of facilitators’ allowances by states was also one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the goals of the commission.
He disclosed that to address the issue, states’ commissioners of education were made to sign letters of undertaking that their states would pay facilitators before the commencement of the various training programmes.
The Executive Secretary said the commission was set for a stakeholders meeting the Universal Basic Education Commission, states commissioners of education and others to fashion out ways of addressing the issue.
He commended states like Zamfara, Ondo and Kano for establishing programmes that were in line with global best practices for educational development.