By Felix Kassim
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Soroptimist International, Asokoro, has celebrated this year’s World Literacy Day with street children and road sweepers drawn from various parts of the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, President of the group, Dr Victoria Pillah, said Nigeria must strive to ensure that the right to education is provided for all its citizens, especially the girl-child.
“The right to education doesn’t recognise race, age, gender or nationality. Yet, nearly two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women,” she said.
She expressed concern that about 57 million children around the world, majority of whom are girls are not in school.
“If we educate a boy, we educate an individual, if we educate a girl; we educate a whole family and a whole nation. It seems nothing could be more apt and exact than this saying that women are the ones who educate future generations,” she said.
The President challenged the sweepers and the street children to avail themselves of massive opportunities in education, saying that it is never too late to learn.
On the theme of the event, ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’, Dr Pillah encouraged the kids, often refer to as Almajiris and the women not to abandon their indigenous languages but instead revitalise and promote them as proper learning can also be carried out through native languages.
On his part, representative of FCT City Library, which jointly organised the Literacy Day Celebration with Soroptimist International, Mr Akumuo Lawrence, said education holds the key for a brighter future.
Akumuo called for adequate funding of libraries to ensure learning materials are made available seamlessly to individuals interested in education.
A representative of the street children, Mustaphar Muazu, appealed to Soroptimist Internaltional and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the Almajiris by ensuring they are taken out of the streets to school.
Muazu, who was lucky to secure secondary school’s scholarship from a good Nigerian about three years ago, said education has impacted positively on his life.
In a goodwill message, the President-elect, BS Beatrice Eluaka, said Soroptimist International is a voluntary organisation that seeks better lives for women and girls.
On her part, the Chairman of 2019 International Literacy Day, BS Ebere Nwobu, encouraged participants to read, stressing that “once you are literate, you will become somebody in future” as readers are leaders.
Highpoint of the event was reading sessions, interpretation of texts in various indigenous languages, sharing of books, among others.