Minister of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike yesterday said the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration will increase its investment in changing the status of illiterates.
The minister spoke in Abuja while inaugurating the Technical Committee for the 2012 National Mass Literacy Campaign.
He said to ignore the huge population of illiterate Nigerians would pose a serious threat to the country’s economic development efforts.
Wike said the need for the improvement of the literacy level in the country is borne out of the desire of the administration to involve the people in the development process.
Wike said: “In a country where large numbers of young people for different reasons have limited access to quality basic education, the resulting poverty, unemployment and sense of hopelessness can act as forceful recruiting agents for youths to be involved in all forms of social vices. This is unacceptable to the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is in the light of the above that I approved the setting up of a broad based technical committee made up of officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, other relevant parastatals and organisations to plan and facilitate the implementation of the national mass literacy Launch”.
The minister outlined four terms of reference for the committee: to organise the national mass literacy launch, to invite notable Nigerians and corporate organisations to support the launch, to encourage stakeholders in developing a wide range of partnerships across all sectors of Nigeria and to encourage the private sector and non governmental organisations to participate in the national mass literacy campaign.
Executive Secretary of the National National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non Formal Education, Jibrin Paiko commended the Federal Government for its commitment to improve the level of literacy.
Paiko, who is the chairman of the technical committee, said government alone cannot fund the programmes and structures to provide functional literacy and life-skills to target groups.
Ignoring illiterates a threat to development, says Wike