65 Million Illiterate Nigerians…65,000,000

Back in October during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Katsina State, Dr Mohammed Alkali the National Programme Advisor on Education for UNESCO quoted a WTF statistic:

65 million Nigerians are illiterate.

The figure, gotten from a survey which tracked illiteracy, is so mind boggling that it still resonates with me today.

We all know how important education is to our well being and that of Nigeria…don’t we?

Here are some statistics about the benefits of education from the Global Partnership for Education:

If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. This is equal to a 12% cut in global poverty. (EFA GMR, UNESCO, p. 8)

A child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past age 5. (EFA GMR, UNESCO, p. 17)

One additional school year can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%. (World Bank)

Literate people are more likely to participate in the democratic process and exercise their civil rights. (UNESCO, p. 1)

We need to keep beating this drum until we are heard, for too long our educational system has been on a slippery slope. I’m still trying to figure out what we can do, in the meantime let’s “loud” it.