Prioritise Education, UN Sec-Gen Urges FG

Secretary General of United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, has urged the Federal Government to make education and literacy national priorities and work with partners across to advance these goals.

He disclosed that more than 773 million young people and adults living in Nigeria and other parts of the world were illiterates and had yet to gain full literacy skills.

His words: “By promoting literacy, we can help millions of people write their own chapter of opportunity in their lives and our common future.”

Ki-Moon, in statement marking the World Literacy Day, an event set aside by the United Nations every September 8, pointed out that the illiterates might not be able to fill out a job application, decipher a bus timetable or read a story aloud to their children, adding that two of three are women denied this essential ingredient to full participation in society.

“When we invest in learning and literacy, we invest in human dignity, development and peace. That is why I launched the Global Education First Initiative, which focuses on ensuring that every child can go to school,” he said.

“Worldwide, at least 250 million primary-school-age children cannot read, write or count. Half of these girls and boys never make it to school or are pushed out before their fourth year.

“Another 200 million adolescents, including those who completed secondary school, do not have basic literacy skills — and so our initiative also focuses on improving the quality of education as well as fostering global citizenship.

“Literacy is a foundation for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. It can advance all the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.

“Literacy enables people to gain access to information to improve their health and nutrition, widen their livelihood options, cope with environmental change and make informed choices.”

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