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Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy in Nigeria

20 December 2012

With the purpose to review the implementation of project-related activities conducted in 2012 and to develop a work plan for 2013, UNESCO Abuja and the Nigerian National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) organized a meeting on 27–28 November 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was attended by around 30 participants, including senior government officials from different entities such as the Federal Ministry of Education, the Universal Basic Education Commission, the National Commission for Nomadic Education, and the UNESCO National Commission, as well as from non-governmental organisations and international development partners.

In addition to being part of this collaborative effort, in 2013 UIL will also welcome ten Nigerian researchers to Hamburg in order to support them in developing projects and research evidence that feed into the overall Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy Project. This initiative will be funded by a 50,000 Euro special grant to UIL by the Ambassador of Nigeria to UNESCO to benefit Nigerian scholars to research on literacy challenges.

The UNESCO team technically guiding the meeting, led by the Director of UNESCO Abuja Office, was composed by senior programme specialists from UNESCO Headquarters, UNESCO BREDA, UNESCO Abuja and UIL. The meeting was formally opened by the Nigerian Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, who also received the UNESCO and NMEC teams after the meeting and briefed them on the outcomes and the commitment of the Nigerian government to address the serious literacy challenges of the country. As one of the most populous countries of the world (E-9), Nigeria has an estimated 40 million non-literate young people and adults, and around 10 million out-of-school children.

In May 2011, the Nigerian Government and UNESCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a three-year project titled “Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy in Nigeria” which is supported by a self-benefiting Funds-in-Trust of 6.5 million US dollars. The main goal of the project is to revitalise adult and youth literacy in Nigeria, by strengthening the commitment and capacities to improve and accelerate national literacy efforts. The review meeting resulted in an Action Plan 2013 which provides a clear road map for all actors to revitalize literacy in Nigeria. The implementation of the planned activities will be supported by technical assistance of the UNESCO team.