The rate of illiteracy in northern Nigeria will continue to rise until extreme poverty is tackled in the region, the Non-Governmental Agency for Literacy Support Services (NOLGASS), has said.
The Zamfara State Chairman of NOGALSS, Ahmad Hashim, said the International Day of Education, which was marked on January 24th, served as reminder to political authorities on the need for proactive steps aimed at stemming the illiteracy tide in the country. He pointed out that Nigeria has more than 10 million children and youth that are out of school, particularly in Northern part.
“Most poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria are failing. The failure affects education in the country. Poor facilities and lack of resources lead to schools collapsing. The failure of poverty eradication in the country leads to unemployment.
“Poverty has caused tremendous damage to people’s lives in Nigeria and has deprived people of the basic needs. Poverty strikes hard and determines people’s faith in Nigeria and dictates the kind of life people should live. The Nigerian government has failed its citizens by not providing them a good life and sufficient jobs for their survival,” he submitted.He hinted that studies have shown that there is indeed a relationship between poverty and education in Nigeria.
He explained: “There is a poor accessibility of education in Nigeria. Some parents are unable to send their children to schools because of their low income while some parents can only send their children to public schools because that is what they can afford. Public schools in Nigeria seemed to have been abandoned by the government. Not much is invested on education in Nigeria. Salaries are inadequate for teachers to live on.
“Public schools are not meeting parents’ expectations of providing quality education for their children. Basic needs are hard for some parents especially when hunger strikes deeply, penetrating into peoples’ lives. The compelling questions are: how can education take place when there is hunger? And how can the children learn when their stomachs are empty? How can the parents send their children to school when they are sinking in poverty? Private schools which are well equipped in terms of resources, facilities and materials are beyond their reach. This seemed to cause a big gap between the rich and poor and quality education. Hence, it can be said that, education reduces poverty and education leads to nation development and economic growth.”He also identified corruption as one of the most formidable enablers of poverty due to the poor or unequal distribution of wealth and equity in Nigeria.
On his part, an Adult Advocate and Educator, Emmanuel Ugwu, said education offers children a ladder out of poverty, and a path to a promising future. He argued that without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
Meanwhile, Living Hope for Girls and Women Foundation, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), has committed to bringing hope to girls and women in the rural areas through skills acquisition and education empowerment, in partnership with NOGALSS to boost mass literacy in Nigeria.
The Foundation, which was founded by Madonna Corosi, has a mission to improve the lives of the girl child and women in local communities through advocacy, care, skills acquisition and education.
The Foundation has established Literacy Centres for adult education and skills acquisition training of the girl child and women in Anambra State, which kicked off on December 17th, 2019, for out of females with the cooperation and effort of the community stakeholders to guide and improve the quality lives of girls and women.
On his part, Emmanuel, commended the efforts of Madonna Corosi, and urged other philanthropists to emulate the gesture, which would boost the enrolment of females in both formal education and acquisition of technical skills.