Story By: Oregbemi Olumide
As Nigeria celebrates ‘World Literacy Day’, we owe our nation the obligation of ridding illiteracy in our society. As we respond to this call, the demand for skills in work-place organizations evolves rapidly. As educated as we may appear, the rate of illiteracy in Nigeria still baffles the world. With the spate of religious and ethnic clashes, the world has come to understand that illiteracy plays a major role in our national setback. The onus therefore is on each Nigerian to strive to overcome the bane of illiteracy on our global perception.
The cry for literacy is louder that before and many young and adult age-group are beginning to embrace this call. Though, this may be inadequate, we need more responses from all quarters. This is evident in our political, ethnic and social awareness. As much as this move is gradually tilting towards this area, we must make it clear that the ultimate education is the one that liberates the mind. It does not matter whether it is formal, informal or non-formal, so far we are able to have the mind liberated.
We therefore call on government, individuals and other stakeholders in the educational sector to intensify efforts and contribute selflessly to the attainment of literacy in our society. We can make Nigeria great through the attainment of literacy. The future can be better when literacy is possible. It informs the mind and help people make informed decisions.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), national literacy survey conducted in 2010 has it that close to 3 million children aged 6 – 14 years had never attended school. This figure represents 8.1 percent of the population of children in that age group. Also about a million children aged 6 – 14 years have had to drop out of school. This represents 3.2 percent of population of children in that age group that ever attended school.
On the other hand, youth literacy in English Language stood at 76.3% according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Of this figure, statistics for male literacy stood at 89.4% while the female statistics stood at 71.4%.
This indicates an obvious imbalance between the male and female literacy rate in Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the rates of male gender literacy are higher in the urban than in the rural area.
The future can be better when literacy is possible. It informs the mind and help people make informed decisions that will transform their lives and that of their society.