Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Special Report: Supporting Literacy among young women in Nigeria



Efforts to advance girl-child literacy in Nigeria has been brought to the fore as there are calls to enhance opportunities for marginalized girls and young women.

Stakeholders opined that Education for girls boosts economies and lowers inequality while also creating a more secure, resilient societies where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential.

Orange FM in this special report takes a look at how the society can support literacy among young women in Nigeria.

Since 2010, Nigeria has had a moderate female literacy rate of 60.01 percent.

With time eventually, Between 2010-2021, the female literacy rate in Nigeria increased by 18.9%.

In 2021, the rate was 71.35% and On a year-on-year basis, the literacy rate increased by 1.5% in 2021. 

States in northern Nigeria, for many years, have lagged behind in education among the 36 states of the federation; but not for lack of funding.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) the huge gap in the educational development between the southern and northern Nigeria is yet to close up.

The statistics showed that the states where majority of people can neither read nor write are those in the Northeast, Northwest, and North-central.

The data shows that Yobe State has only 7.23 per cent literacy level, the lowest in the country.

According to UNICEF, Women account for almost two-thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate adults and there has been no change in reducing this share since 1990.

Girls have a high risk of dropping out of primary school and overall, they are less likely than boys to make the transition to secondary schooling and complete lower secondary education.

Poverty, gender norms and traditional practices, including early marriage, increase the risk of premature school dropouts.

Gender disparities in education are compounded by additional deep-rooted forms of inequality based on wealth, ethnicity, residence and disability.

An educationist Mrs Fisayo Olasoji underlined the need to identify conditions necessary for a successful transition of the programme to ensure the sustainability of results achieved and enhanced opportunities for marginalised girls and young women.

Olasoji called on the federal government to prioritize literacy for the girl child, as part of efforts geared towards reducing the high unemployment rate in Nigeria.

UNICEF education specialist Francis Elisha outlined some of the moves that the organization has made towards the provision of education for all, including girls, and how this has affected trends in access and participation in schooling.

Others suggested that barriers to girls’ education are beyond individuals’ interests; hence, there is need for continuous effective partnerships, to improve teaching qualities and invest in multi-sectoral interventions.

Other opinion Moulders believed that special intervention education programmes should be introduced at all levels by by government to effectively empower the marginalized girls and young women for societal development.