The International Literacy Association views
“literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context,” says Dr. Bernadette Dwyer, President of the International Literacy Association.
The right to literacy is a basic fundamental human right. However, 750 million people around the world cannot read and write. Two-thirds of these are female. Despite some progress, gender disparity remains.”
Today is the International Day of Literacy and this year’s theme is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond” which focuses on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults. Today gives an opportunity to analyze the role of educators, as well as formulate effective policies, systems, governance, and measures that can support educators and learning.
How Literacy Affects Nigeria
Literacy permeates all areas of life, fundamentally shaping how we learn, work, and socialize. Literacy is essential to informed decision-making, personal empowerment, and community engagement. Communication and connection are the basis of who we are and how we live together and interact with the world.
Education is the bedrock of any country’s development and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail; unfortunately, Nigeria, has a very large population of illiterates.
The low level of literacy has had much impact on Nigeria’s Educational System. An estimated average of 75 million of the 170 million people living in Nigeria, do not have basic literacy skills. Additionally, an estimate of 10.5 million children are out-of-school in Nigeria and this is the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.
What Can be Done
Nigeria’s federal government is making a resilient effort to dramatically reduce the number of out of school children. In addition, the Government is also adopting inclusive education where every Nigerian will be given the opportunity to go to school, regardless of background, ethnicity and gender” Adamu Adamu (Minister of Education)
Don’t just hand out Books: Plant the need and the love of books first by creating an environment that makes learning fun
Remember that Literacy isn’t just for Kids: Support Adults so that they can also become literates.
Embed Literacy into several Programs especially for Adults and kids
Use Technology: There are several materials that have been developed by PassNowNow including class notes and Past Questions, that can be used to engage adults and kids that are on a journey of literacy