Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday launched an Adult Education Programme tagged ‘Lagos is Learning (Èkó ńkẹ kòó)’, a move he said was in line with his administration’s commitment to combat the illiteracy level in the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the launch of the programme, held at the Police College, Ikeja, said the target was to raise the literacy level in the State from 85 per cent to 100 per cent within the next three years.
To achieve this, the Governor said the adult education centers in the State would be increased from 522 to 1000, while additional 1000 teachers would be engaged, adding that the programme would be free of charge for participants so as to accommodate more people.
Governor Ambode, who was represented at the launch by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, said the number of illiterate persons in the State was not consistent with his vision to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city, hence the need to address the situation.
He said, “In Lagos, research also shows that 13 per cent of the population, meaning about three million persons, are illiterates. This level of illiteracy is unacceptable. The high population of illiterate people is not consistent with our vision to become Africa’s model mega city because illiterate person lack basic literacy, numeracy and essential skills which makes them more vulnerable to activities of criminals and they can easily be lured into anti-social groups.
“Basic literacy is essential for economic empowerment and to understand and follow simple instruction in the areas of health, transportation, safety and others. Today, we are launching this Eko Nke Ekoo project with the objectives of kicking illiteracy out of Lagos. Our goal is to achieve 100 percent literacy for all Lagosians. Towards this end, we plan to increase the number of basic and post literacy centers from the current 532 to 1,000. We will also engage additional 1,000 facilitators who will be trained in basic skills and techniques in the teaching of adult education.”
The literacy centres, according to the Governor, would offer courses including Education, Fashion designing, Soap making, Hair dressing and Bead making, among others.
Besides, Governor Ambode said the State Government would aggressively promote literacy initiatives through all media channels, while channels of literacy contents, radio literacy programmes, mobile literacy centres and other innovative channels would be multiplied and diversified across the State.
“To achieve this, the Ministry of Education, through the office of the Special Adviser on Education and Agency for Mass Education under the direction of the Deputy Governor, will strengthen relationship with various stakeholders including private organizations, international funding agencies, government agencies, religious organizations, community based and several NGOs running literacy and empowerment programmes”.
“I encourage residents of Lagos to take the opportunity to learn. It is never too late to learn; age is not barrier to acquire basic literacy. It will help the learners forge a better understanding between the government and the people and as well aid personal development,” he said.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the initiative was to improve the standard of living of adults without formal education while growing up and make them self-reliant and employable.