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Nigeria has 50m illiterate adults, says minister

Speaking at the commissioning of school projects executed by Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board in Yola, the minister also said 7.5 million school-age children…

Speaking at the commissioning of school projects executed by Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board in Yola, the minister also said 7.5 million school-age children in Nigeria are out of school.

These are serious problems that require urgent attention and comprehensive approach by both the state and federal education authorities, she noted.

Part of the ongoing efforts to address the problems, she said, was the move to integrate Islamic schools (madarasah) into the formal education system in the country.

According to her, a ministerial committee had already been set up to work out formalities and details of ensuring such integration.

The minister said the chairmen of Adamawa and Katsina States’ basic education boards are incorporated in the committee, and are expected to meet with officials from 13 other states to pursue the programme.

Earlier, the Chairman of Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board Dr Salihu Bakari had told the minister that over N10 billion has been spent in funding primary education in the state since the inception of the present administration.

He said over 100 projects had been executed, and instructional materials, motorcycles and school uniforms had been purchased and distributed by the board.

Giving details of the projects, Dr Bakari said 104 junior secondary schools and 54 new primary schools were constructed.

He said 53,000 pieces of furniture were procured for the schools, 389,000 textbooks were purchased for pupils and 262 motorcycles were bought for supervisors.

To eliminate gender disparity, he said, the state government is paying special attention to girls’ education, committing about N53 million to offer them free uniform in their first year of schooling to encourage enrolment.

The board had also built 14 girls’ primary schools and 17 girls’ junior secondary schools, he added.

“We believe that education is a means to an end and an end in itself,” he said. “We see education as an ultimate gift to humanity”.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Murtala Nyako, represented by Deputy Governor Bala Ngilari, said that the state government had paid all the counterpart funds required for primary education in the state.

On his part, the executive secretary of Universal Basic Education Dr Ahmed Modibbo said the execution of education programmes in the state was a testimony of the government’s commitment to transform the socio-economic condition of its people.

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