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‘Literacy makes you richer’


Literacy can advance people’s ability to earn additional income, it has been discovered.

The National Programme Advisor on Education, at the Abuja Regional Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, Dr. Mohammed Alkali made this known during an advocacy visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari.

He stated that people could be lifted out of poverty if they are empowered with basic reading skills, adding that this does not even have to go on forever. “Just nine months of literacy increases a person’s earning by up to 10 per cent.”

Meanwhile, a literacy survey sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has revealed that as much as 65 million Nigerians are still illiterate.

Alkali pointed out that the non-formal education sector has suffered from very low funding and urged political leaders to develop the political will to fulfill their mandates by recruiting and paying UNESCO-trained facilitators.

He also revealed that UNESCO in collaboration with the Nigerian National Mass Education Commission (NMEC)  has embarked on a project to revitalise adult and youth literacy with the target of reducing Nigerian illiteracy rate by between five to six million youths and adults.

Dr. Alkali stated that the project was developed with “strategic partnerships initiatives sharing responsibilities between UNESCO, Federal Government, states and local government areas to achieve the target results.”
He however lamented that mass literacy facilitators in Katsina State were the least paid in the country with remuneration below the national benchmark of N7,500 per month for part-time facilitators.

Other recent surveys, detailing the demographic dimensions of the literacy crisis in Nigeria have fingered the insurgency-wracked North East zone of the country as being the most troubled. This has led some to conclude that poor literacy is a definite precipitating factor for the Boko Haram insurgency.


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