75% of Nigerian pupils poor in literacy, says UNICEF

Three out of every four pupils in Nigerian primary schools are poor in literacy and numeracy, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund assessment.

The global agency’s Chief of Education in Nigeria, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, said this on Wednesday at the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy seminar in Maiduguri, Borno State.

“Nigeria has a severe learning crisis with three out of four children being unable to read or to solve a simple math problem,” Panday-Soobrayan said at the opening of the seminar, which drew participants from stakeholders in the education sector from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

This not only hobbles children’s opportunity to learn higher order skills but it’s also fuelling the out-of-school (children) problem through high levels of drop out. So if we want to solve the out-of-school (children) problem, we must solve the quality problem in learning,” she said.

Panday-Soobrayan advised that the problem must be tackled from the grass-roots level.

“The time is now to begin scaling it across all LGAs,” she said.

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