The Education Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it is aligning skills acquisition with formal and non formal education in its mass literacy program.
The acting Secretary of the secretariat, Malam Abdulrazaq Leramoh, stated this at a press conference to mark the 2023 International Literacy Day (ILD).
The theme of the day is, “Promoting Literacy for a World in transition: Building the Foundation for Sustainable and Peaceful Societies”.
Leramoh pointed out that certificates alone cannot provide food on the table, particularly with growing unemployment in the country.
He also noted the growing number of graduates out there without formal skill, making it difficult to address unemployment.
“We are developing a policy to ensure that as we are empowering those in informal education with the opportunity to acquire skills through our various vocational centres.
“We are still introducing vocational study in the form of entrepreneurship education so that by the time some of the children come out of schools, they are coming out with skills that they can work with,” he said.
He added that the FCT has a very robust platform for both formal and nonformal education, including literacy and skills acquisition centres across the six Area council.
“Literacy initiatives in the FCT include adult education programs, community-based literacy centers and literacy for out of school children and youth, and digital literacy.
“Others are financial literacy, skill acquisition programs, women education, nomadic adult literacy and continuing education programs,” he said.
He explained that the ILD was being commemorated on Sept. 9 of every year to create awareness on the significance of education for all.
He added that the celebration was also to strengthen existing structures to promote education to solve societal needs as well as produce a skilled workforce for a sustainable economy.
He said that a literate person was expected to attain reading, writing, and numeric abilities to make it possible for him to continue to remain functional.
This, he said, would enable a person to contribute significantly towards his development and that of his country.
Also, Dr Sani Ladan, Director, Secondary Education Board, also said that the secretariat was working to ensure that no child leaves the school without a skill through entrepreneurship education.
“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,” Ladan said.
Also, Mrs Hajarat Titilayo-Alayande, Director, Department of Mass Education, said that the FCT adult education program currently has an enrolment of more than 15,000 people.
Titilayo-Alayande added that the department has four functional Information and Communication Technology centers and 34 women centers.
She added that the department’s second chance education program for out of school children, particularly girls, was being funded by a Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS).
She said that a total of 1,000 girls would be trained under the program in FCT, adding that 50 of the girls would be trained on vocational skills.
The director also said that the department equally provides free skill acquisition training, adding that 1,400 persons were being trained on different skills every quarter.
On his part, 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.