By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has stressed the need to continue to invest in education, provide equal opportunities for all, so as to ensure that no one is let behind on the path to literacy in the society .
The FCTA through its Education Secretariat made this point yesterday, during a press briefing on the commemoration of 2023 International Literacy Day (ILD), which holds on 8 September every year as approved by the United Nations, aimed at creating awareness on promoting education for all, so as to to solve societal needs.
It added that literacy initiatives in the FCT inchude; adult education programmes, community-based literacy centers fọr out of school children/youth, digital literacy, financial literacy, skill acquisition programmes, women education, nomadic adult literacy and continue education programmes.
The Acting Secretary for Education, Mallam Abdulrazaq Leramoh, who described the celebration of the ILD as very significant, said it also help to strengthen the existing structure to produce skilled workforce for sustainable economy.
Leramoh said the impact of mass literacy in the FCT cannot be overemphasize, as it is a catalyst for progress, foundation for empowerment and driver of positive change.
“As we have explored today, mass literacy in the FCT, therefore has the mandate to transform individuals, communities, and the entire nation to achieve job creation, production of skilled workforce as well as reduction of the nagging unemployment.
“Through efforts made by the FCT administration and the collective commitment of our society, we are in a path towards a brighter future. We are fostering empowerment, social cohesion, economic growth, political participation, cultural preservation, and global competitiveness. These are not just ideals, they are tangible outcomes of a iterate society.
“As we celebrate the strides made in promoting mass literacy in the FCT, let us also recognize the work that lies ahead. We must continue to invest in education, provide equal opportunities for all, and ensure that no one is let behind on the path to literacy. By doing so, we are not only shaping a better FCT, but also contributing to a more enlightened and prosperous nation.
“Let us remember that mass literacy is not merely a goal, it is a journey that requires the commitment and dedication of every member of our society.
“Together, we can turn the pages of progress and script a brighter, nore educated future for all residents ot the Federal Capital Territory”, he stressed.
Furthermore, the FCTA official, explained that as the programme is being held globally with conferences and Award presentations by UNESCO, in the FCT, the Education Secretariat has put in place activities like sensitization to rural communities through the media and Department of Mass education to encourage people’s participation in the non-formal education and skills acquisition programmes for both adults, youth women and those out of school yearning for education thereby giving them a second chance.
According to him: “ The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has a very robust platform for both formal and non-formal education, and in most cases the activities hold within the same environment making accessibility to education for the FCT populace as well as literacy and skills acquisition centres across the six Area Councils.
“The committment of the FCT Administration to inclusive education is very commendable and yielding very significant result such that the administration has recognized this fact by striving to invest in the promotion of mass literacy towards actualisation of economic development, poverty reduction, improved health, political participation, cultural preservation, technological advancement, social empowerment, infrastructure development, global competitiveness, overall quality of life and enhanced security.”
Similarly, Director, Secondary Education Board (SEB), Dr. Sani Ladan, reiterated that the secretariat was working to ensure that no child leaves the school without a skill through entrepreneurship education.
He said: “We are exposing the school children away from reading and cramming to critical, innovative, and creative thinking.
“We are given assignments on providing innovative solutions to environmental challenges and other societal problems. This will enable them to be self-reliant and contribute to nation building and development.”
On her part, Director, Department of Mass Education, Mrs. Hajarat Titilayo-Alayande noted that the FCT adult education programme currently has an enrolment of more than 15,000 people.
Titilayo-Alayande added that the department has four functional Information and Communication Technology centres and 34 women centres.
She disclosed that the department’s second chance education programme for out of school children, particularly girls, was being funded by a Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS).
She added that a total of 1,000 girls would be trained under the programme in FCT, adding that 50 of the girls would be trained on vocational skills.
The director also said the department equally provides free skill acquisition training, adding that 1,400 persons were being trained on different skills every quarter.
Not left out, the National President, NOGALSS, Mr. Noah Emmanuel, said that the association was working with all the state agencies for mass education in the country on provision of livelihood skills.
He appealed to the FCTA to strengthen the autonomy of the department of mass education by returning it to its formal status of an agency.
“This will enable it to respond better to the dynamics of literacy,” he said.