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757 million adults worldwide lack literacy skills, says UNESCO

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja   |   09 September 2015   |   5:21 am  

UNESCO BUILDING- IMAGE SOURCE

UNESCO BUILDING- IMAGE SOURCE

THE United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said 757 million adults globally still lack basic literacy skills, adding that two-thirds of this number are women while the rate of out-of-school children and adolescents is on the increase, which stands at 124 million worldwide.

Speaking at the 2015 International Literacy Day in Nigeria with the theme “Literacy and Sustainable Societies” in Abuja, yesterday, Director General of UNESCO, MsIrina Bokova, said by empowering individual women and men, literacy helps to advance sustainable development across the board from better healthcare and food security to eradicating poverty and promoting decent work.

Bokova added that over 250 million children of primary school age are failing to master basic literacy skills even in schooling, stressing that literacy is essential to reach the proposed sustainable development goal to promote inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

Bokova, represented by Regional Director of UNESCO in Nigeria, Dr. Bernard Sesan, noted that every year on September 8th the world raise the flag for literacy as a human right, as a force for dignity and as a foundation for cohesive societies and sustainable development, noting that promoting literacy must stand at the heart of the new agenda to be adopted by states this year.

In her address, Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Hindatu Abudullahi, explained that this year’s celebration of International Literacy Day (ILD) is to draw global attention to the status of literacy, especially adult learning, as well as highlight the linkage between literacy and the development of individuals and nations, stressing that Nigeria joins the rest of the world annually to observe the day, in fulfillment of its international commitment as a UNESCO member state and to support the organisation’s ideals of promoting international peace and security through education.



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