Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says any individual who does not have access to formal education has been deprived of the means to pursue a dignified existence where one can fully contest or collaborate with others for the benefits that life offers.
He said this in Abuja on Saturday evening at an event organised to mark the 2021 Mass Literacy Day by the MALLPAI Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded in 2009 by Hajiya Aisha Atiku Bagudu, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor.
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MALLPAI, which means in full “Mass Literacy for the Less Privileged and Almajiri Initiative”, addresses concerns around illiteracy and out-of-school children, with a commitment to enhancing the quality of life by supporting and empowering initiatives that improve access to health, education and agriculture opportunities for Nigerians.
Osinbajo, in a statement issued yesterday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said access to “education is a ticket to the full enjoyment of all human, civil and socio-political rights.”
He said, “So, at the most basic level, the ability to read and write, not just in one’s own language, but in global languages as well is crucial. To be deprived of education is to be deprived of the means of pursuit of a dignified existence where one can fully contest or collaborate with others for the benefits that life offers.
“Every study confirms that education, especially of women, has a multiplier effect on everything around them. It usually means a longer life span for themselves and their children. It means that they are less likely to die of communicable diseases, since they are more likely to understand best practices in hygiene, sanitation and follow useful materials on health care.
“We owe our people the duty to educate them. We owe our people a duty to lift their minds to the level where they can benefit maximally from their environment and give benefit to others,” he added.
Osinbajo commended MALLPAI Foundation for improving access to education and creating skills acquisition opportunities for the poor and underprivileged communities.