The Federal Government has put the current figures of adult illiterates and out-of-school children in the country at 63 million and 11.5 million, respectively.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made this known on Monday in Abuja during the flag-off of the 2017 International Literacy Day Celebration.
He said the Day serves as a platform for government at all levels and other stakeholders to review the progress so far made to tackle problems of adult illiteracy and the menace of out-of-school children.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Arch. Sunny Echono, the minister decried the situation in which many of the citizens can neither read nor write.
He said: “Worldwide, 750 million adults today still lack even the most basic literacy skills. Some 264 million children and youths are not benefiting from education.
“Different official statements put youth and adult illiteracy levels in Nigeria at about 63 million. It is also estimated that over 11.5 million children are out of school.
“Most of the children who are in school are not attaining the learning outcome benchmarks. Addressing this skills gap is an educational and development imperative.”
The minister said the theme of the 2017 International Literacy Day, “Literacy in a Digital World”, was apt, considering the present administration determination to bring the necessary development to the country, adding that digital tools would play a great role in expanding access to learning.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Mass Literacy and Adult Education (NMEC), Prof. Abba Abubakar Haladu, while acknowledging the challenges of tackling adult illiteracy, said the Commission has come up with an operational plan to address the problems.
He, however, called for support of all stakeholders to address the challenges as the Federal Government alone would not be able to do it.
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