In a determined effort to fight the high rate of illiteracy which Lagos state government said was about 13% of its population, the State government has disclosed its plan to create about 500 more basic and post literacy centres across the state while additional 1000 facilitators would be engaged for adult education.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos disclosed this on Thursday while launching the new mass literacy scheme called (Eko , N Keko ) Lagos is learning at the Police College Ikeja Lagos. The Governor who was represented by his deputy Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule stated that the recent findings about literacy level in the state indicated that 13% of the population of the state representing about three million is illiterates, which the governor said was not acceptable to his government.
According to him, the current level of literacy is not consistent with his administration’s dream of making Lagos the Africa’s model city, adding that illiteracy does not promote economic growth because according to the governor, Illiterate persons lack literacy, numeracy and essential life skills, which he noted made them to be more vulnerable to criminal activities.
While acknowledging that a minimum level of literacy is required for successful implementation of his administrations’ development policy, the governor stated that his administration through the state ministry of education is strengthening relationship with various stakeholders , including Organisations, International Funding Agencies , Religious Organisations , Community Based and Non Governmental Organisations running Literacy Programmes just to ensure that the state government achieves its dream of 100% literacy in the state.
Ambode while urging the residents to take advantage of various literacy initiatives of his administration to develop themselves , pledged that his government would aggressively promote literacy initiatives through all media channels and scale up incentives so as to increase enrollment, retention and completion of literacy programmes.
‘’I encourage Lagosians to take advantage of this opportunity to learn, it is never too late to learn. Age is no barrier to acquire basic literacy, rather, it will forge a better understanding between the people and the government,” the governor stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, Special Adviser to Ambode on Education, Mr Obafela Bank Olemoh, said the initiative was aimed at improving the standard of living of adults without formal education and make them self reliant and employable.
Bank-Olemoh said the program was also targeted at raising the level of literacy in the state from 87 per cent to 95 per cent in the next three years.
He called on international and non-governmental organisations to partner with the state government to achieve the mandate of the programme.