Influx of migrants to Lagos hinders 95% literacy target – Govt

The Lagos State Government has attributed its inability to meet the 95 per cent literacy level target by 2019 to the daily influx of migrants from other parts of the country to the state.

The Director of the state’s Agency for Mass Education, Mrs Olukemi Kalesanwo, made the remark, on a sideline of a quiz competition organised for this year by the agency for adult learners in the state, last week.

The annual competition held at Alausa Secretariat in Ikeja and categorised into English and Yoruba speaking class, is to test the knowledge and understanding of learners on what they had learned in class and also to reward those outstanding among them in order to encourage other illiterate persons to enroll for the programme.

A 31-year-old petty trader, Mrs Kate Charles, from Badagry Local Government area won the English speaking class category while Mrs. Mojisola Adetola, 63, won the Yoruba speaking class and each of them, and their first and second runners-up and other finalists were rewarded with various gift items, ranging from cooking gas, washing machine, ceiling fans and so forth for their efforts.

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Speaking further, Kalesanwo said the agency trains up to 20,000 adults yearly at various centres spread all over the state, noting that the effort would have brought the literacy level in the state from about 90 per cent it is currently to more than 95 per cent but for daily migration of people especially the illiterates from all over the country to the state.

“But we will continue to do our best and ensure all Lagosians irrespective of their ethnics, ages and religion differences know how to read and write, civic duties and basic social rights,” she promised.

She, however, noted that the scheme is flexible and designed in such a way that learners dictate lesson schedules without significantly affecting their work and families.

She added that they are taught by facilitators based on special curriculum covering English language, arithmetic and general knowledge using either Yoruba or English language as a means of communication.

In his own remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr Shamsudeen Allison, congratulated the winners and other graduands and urged them to make good use of the knowledge gained from the scheme to better their lives and the society.

He, however, appealed to residents of the state who are still illiterate to take advantage of the flexibility of the scheme to enroll, saying the benefits are not quantifiable.