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26,000 graduate from UNESCO adult education in Ebonyi

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By Ruth Oginyi

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has urged Nigerian governments at all levels to engage the graduates of second-chance education also known as Adult Education, into public service in Ebonyi state.

UNESCO Southeast coordinator, spotlight Initiative, Dr. Stephen Onyekwere, made the call during the graduation of 26,000 students under EU-UN Spotlight’s initiative second chance education program at Tehilar Center, International market, Abakaliki Ebonyi state.

Onyekwere disclosed that the second phase would commence by June 2021 and efforts are in top gear to sustain the programme. He appealed to the state government to encourage the education initiative through support.

He said: “The end of Spotlight phase1, should not be an end to spotlight program in the state. And how do we appeal to sustain this program, the facilitators that are teaching these learners in the state. Sir, we appeal to you that we also put them into our budget so that they can continue to provide the necessary supervision, the facilitation for these learners to be able to continue with their learning.

“What they have just received is what is called basic literacy, we have also post-literacy, this is just the beginning as we don’t want them to stop here but to go to the higher level.

“Under phase one, we have been receiving complaints from states that they were not given the grant for them to be able to implement directly, such things will be considered in phase two so that when we are funding, the state will receive some fund, our CSOs will receive some fund for the two CSO and government to work together for us to be able to achieve the purpose.

“Another area we will want to emphasize is in vocational skills, the argument is after literacy what next, so after you can read and write it’s necessary to make use of the skills.  So we are going to integrate vocational skill where the learners will not only learn how to read and write but have another practical skill to improve their socio-economic well being”, he stated

The state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, in a remark said the spotlight initiative program fits into the state empowerment program and asked that men be integrated into it.

The commissioner said: “Ebonyi state is one the states we know that have a lot of out-of-school children, most of these children are boys scattered all over the federation not only girls, trading, hawking, doing all kinds of menial jobs.

“This kind of program should target them to expand it to include “education today for all” in other to help us in what we are doing in this state to catch those of them that are out of school and feel old to go back to school to study. That is why today we are happy to thank the World Bank that Ebonyi state is a BESDA state and we are ready to work with other international organisations to improve boys and girls education”, he added

One of the graduants, Mrs Ogboji Celestina, a 40 years old farmer and mother of four from Echara community, Ezza South local government area hailed the UNESCO  spotlight for empowering her. “I am so happy today to be among the people graduating from Primary six. Before I don’t know how to read and write, but now if you ask my name, I will write it for you”, she said.

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