Not fewer than 10 million Nigerian children are illiterates, according to the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of Federal Government Universal Basic Education (UBE), Special Vocational School, Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Minister said about nine million of the figure are from the North.
He noted that the special vocational school built by the Federal Government through Universal Basic Education (UBE) is to reduce the number of children roaming the streets.
He pointed out that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had to tackle the situation first in the Northern part of the county by building 300 vocational schools.
According to him, the Federal Government is kick starting vocational education in the South-South from Akwa Ibom State to other states.
The minister said that the project would help to expand the educational transformation of the state.
He applauded Akpabio for imbibing the transformation agenda of President Jonathan through quality education in the state.
The minister of state disclosed that the project is expected to be completed in the next six months.
The Secretary of UBE, Dr. Suleiman Dikko said recent research had it that Nigeria had the largest population of children roaming the streets without education, which, he said, was the reason the Federal Government, introduced the programme.
Dikko noted that the programme was to provide opportunity for boys who have dropped out of school or were never in the school.
Dikko further said that the school focuses on manpower development and skilled acquisition, disclosing that the vocational school in the state would be well equipped and would be a full boarding institution.
Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio also emphasized the need for governments at all levels in the country to train youths in skill acquisition programmes to enable them to be self-employed in future.
Akpabio also stressed the need to educate Nigerian children not only in reading but also in writing to enable to realize their self-worth.