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A COMMUNIQUE OF THE MEETING OF STAKEHOLDERS IN NON-FORMAL EDUCATION (NFE) DELIVERY IN NIGERIA A two-day stakeholders meeting on âStrengthening Policy Dialogue for Effective and Sustainable Support for Literacy and Non-Formal Educationâ in Nigeria, held between 15th and 18th November 2015 at the Kutin Hotel, Keffi, Nasarawa State. Participants at this meeting includes Agency Directors from the 36 States and FCT, NGOs, Non Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS), UNESCO, NMEC, Senior Special Assistant to Kogi State Governor on NGOs, Chairman ALGON Nasarawa State, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Nasarawa State, Federal Ministry of Education and the National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM), as well as the Chairman âRevitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy (RAYL). INTRODUCTION Nigeriaâs literacy rate is said to be just 62%. With this fact, it means that 38% of our population that is presently at 172 million people are unable to read or write and therefore face a bleak life of poverty, ill health and other negative effects of illiteracy and ignorance. It is understood globally that a higher literacy rate is desirable for development in all its perspectives because literacy will open a vista of opportunities to its beneficiaries to have necessary information that can be used to improve their lives and make informed choices. Nigeria leads the league of nine countries with the highest population of illiterates in the world, the E-9 countries which include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. 10.5. million school-age children are not in school and would sooner than later add to the population of adult illiterates. 75% of these illiterates live in rural communities some of which are very remote and located in difficult terrains. Of this number, two-thirds are women who are the first teachers of our children. OBJECTIVES: ⢠Inspire positive actions about the literacy level in the country ⢠Engage a broad section of policy makers at three levels of government and other Stakeholder on the need to fund literacy activities/programmes ⢠Establish good working relationships with all Stakeholders in NFE activities ⢠Strengthening of NFE Practitioners (NNCAE & NOGALSS) to enhance activities of NMEC and SAMEs. ⢠Encourage increase in commitment of all Stakeholders for effective social change through literacy To achieve the objectives of the meeting, three (3) papers were presented as follows: i. Policy-Dialogue on issues of concern between NFE sector and the three tiers of government, with special emphasis on NMEC enabling law, advocacy for better funding and equal attention with UBEC. ii. Policy issues and best practices in literacy delivery in Nigeria; a case-study of KanEo State Agency for Mass Education. iii. Mobilization of NGOs as NFE Practitioners to form association to canvass and advocate for NFE and create workable synergies between States and Local Governments. OBSERVATIONS ⢠Non-formal Education is poorly funded at all levels. ⢠From the fore-going, we can say that there is very low political will to address aggressively, the literacy problem in Nigeria. Article 18, Sections 2 and 3 of the 1999 constitution as amended have been inadequately implemented since the commencement of the democratic era. ⢠Making existing State Agencies for Mass Education (SAME) as Departments in the various State Ministries of Education, as in the case of Ogun, Nasarawa, Osun States and FCT etc, reduces their autonomy and power as parastatals to pursue their mandates. ⢠The Enabling Laws establishing most of the Agencies are obsolete. ⢠The statute establishing NMEC does not give her powers to operate effectively as similar bodies like UBEC ⢠There exists âweak relationshipâ between State Agencies for Mass Education (SAMEs) and Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS) of Nigeria. ⢠Non-regular payment of facilitatorsâ allowance. ⢠Many Local Government Councils are not playing their statutory roles in the delivery of Non-formal Education services as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended and the 2012 Local Government bye-laws. ⢠CBMCs are low-performing and need to be strengthened. RECOMMENDATIONS ⢠Government at all levels should adequately fund Non-formal Education if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be achieved by 2030. ⢠Government at all levels should support NMEC and State Agencies to embark on massive Literacy Campaigns. ⢠There should he high-level advocacy to all States with non-regular payment of facilitatorsâ allowance; to join in the literacy Campaign. ⢠All State Agencies deprived of their autonomy to operate efficiently should be restored and supported to function maximally. ⢠Government should review the enabling laws of State Agencies where they are obsolete. ⢠Local Government Councils should play their statutory roles in the provision of adult and Non-formal Education in their various councils. ⢠There is urgent need to review NMEC statutes to enable her function and have the same status like UBEC ⢠There is need to have a clearly defined and strengthened relationship between the NOGALSS, NMEC and State Agencies ⢠State Agencies should strengthen CBMCs for all their learning centres. Dr Mrs C.T Pwol Chairman of the Communique Pastor Peter Akosile Secretary

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