Northern Nigeria Launches Massive Literacy Campaign

    08 January, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

    Nigeria has one of the world's highest rates of people who can not read or write, but a government agency is taking steps to help more than 400,000 Nigerians in Kano state become literate.

    The Kano State Agency for Mass Education has set high goals for literacy. The goals may be hard to reach because the adults and young people the agency wants to teach are not attending school.

    Northern Nigeria Launches Massive Literacy Campaign
    Facilitator Hasiya Mohammed presents geography lessons at City Women's Center in Kano. (Photo Credit: Isiyaku Ahmed)

    Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike reported on the situation last September. The minister said, the number of illiterate Nigerian adults has increased by 10 million over the past 20 years, the current total is 35 million; the nation also has more than 10 million children who are not in school.

    To improve that situation, Kano's educational agency has joined with Education for All (EFA), a project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

    Working together, they have launched more than 8,074 adult literacy classes in 44 local government councils. The effort is expected to reach about 403,700 people. Success would mean a 90 percent adult literacy level by 2015.

    The agency says it has 16,000 facilitators to teach and train students, the aim is to extend its reach to all the 44 local government councils in the state.

    Kano City Women Center is one of many learning centers for young and adult women. It serves 965 students at its school and 145 more women at a vocational or occupational center.
    The school teaches English, mathematics, geography, biology, chemistry, economics, and other subjects. At the vocational center, women learn how to knit and sew, and make products like soaps and air fresheners.

    Halima Aminu is 25 years old and a mother of three children. She once left school because of a lack of financial support. She started attending the Kano City Women Center in 2010. Today, she is in her final year at the senior secondary-school level.

    "When I come to school in the morning I will enter my class, so when I finish learning, taking lectures, then I will go back home. I have children, I will teach them and take my exercise-books to revise. So I also help them in doing their homework," said Aminu.

    Halima Aminu hopes to continue her education at the next level and someday become a medical doctor.

    And that's the VOA Learning English Education Report. I'm Bob Doughty.