The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has called for concerted efforts to raise the literacy level in Nigeria.
The NAS Capoon,Mr Abiola Owoaje in a statement to commemorate the 2020 International Literacy Day said it is “pertinent to bring attention to the dearth of opportunities for many in Nigeria to achieve the basic levels of reading and writing, which has been made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him people with no or low literacy skills, who already face multiple socio-economic disadvantages in their day-to-day lives also have limited access to online learning opportunities to continue their education.
The group noted that the COVID-19 crisis has shed light on the unpreparedness of infrastructure, education systems, programmes and people for ensuring the continuity of teaching and learning in such a crisis situation.
It lamented that over the years, the gap between educational policies and goal attainment due to inefficient implementation strategies and tactics of these policies has continued to fail the nation and its citizens.
NAS in advocating for a change in the narrative reiterated that education is the right of the child maintaining that it is the responsibility of government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and citizens to ensure every child receives the education they deserve by right to achieve academic and vocational goals.
It therefore called on all stakeholders to support coherent and comprehensive literacy strategies including harnessing technology to teach computer skills.
The statement read in part “Ensure every child/student has access to books and literacy programmes whether printed or digital by 2030 by making access to online platforms central to school academic deliveries; resourcing libraries as well as making libraries, publishers and authors central to these strategies and ensuring no child/student is left behind.”
“Support, defend and promote intellectual freedom as defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“Cut our schools’ digital divide in half, especially for many in low income communities, can access higher speed internet and the modern learning and experiential tools the infrastructure provides.
“Ensure that quality education is not a privilege for a few.Place at the centre of this progress, the teachers and allied staff by reviewing every element of the Nation’s education system including assessments standards, training, support, and reward for teachers to strengthen Nigeria’s effort to improve the teaching profession and ultimately the quality of education and academic achievements.”