Executive secretary of National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC), Professor Simon Akpama Ibor, said the centre is committed to literacy and skills training for adults who dropped out of school and unemployed youths in Imo State and across the country.
He spoke at the “Literacy Through Economic Empowerment Strategy (LEES) project for Southeast states” held in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Represented by Mrs Rose Alugbere, the ES said the programme will help to reduce criminality of unemployed people through the provision of skills and work tools to support trainees.
NMEC is responsible for conducting adult and non-formal education programmes in Nigeria, and its efforts are guided by its Policy Guidelines on Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education.
He said the project incorporated different vocational skills like tailoring, hairdressing, and Home Economics/Catering in the six geo-political zones of the country to enable the beneficiaries to become self-reliant, self-employed and job creators.
Ibor said, “Also, this will indirectly draw them out of poverty, reduce crimes and other vices related to poverty and unemployment.”
On her part, Nnenna Jane Ejieji, the head of department for Vocal Skills and Continuous Education of NMEC, appealed to governors to adopt the scheme and replicate it to enhance self–reliance, self-employment and job creation among the youths.
She said different items would be presented to 18 beneficiaries from the Southeast who emerged first, second and third positions during trainings which included industrial machines for embroidery, fashion designing, catering, hair washing stand, hair dryer, pedicure treatment set, electric towel warmers, gas cookers, deep freezer, pots, and blenders.
She maintained that every trainee will go home with work tool.
The director, Basic Education Department, of the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Folake Olatunji–David represented by the deputy director, DD Languages, of the ministry, Mrs Afolabi Taiwo said literacy enriches a person’s life and creates opportunities for people to develop skills that would help them provide for themselves and their families.
She said, “The purpose is to make learners self-reliant, self-employed as well as employers of labour thereby reducing the level of poverty in the country, reduce social ills and also boost the nation’s economy.”
In his remarks, the state commissioner for education, Professor Johncliff Nwadike, said the state government had already graduated a total of 15,000 youths in various skills acquisition programmes with a laptop for each person to become self-reliant and an employer of labour.