The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope – Adefulire has pointed out the importance of Education towards the eradication of poverty which is one of the cardinal goals of SDGs capable of transforming the world to a better place.

            The SSAP-SDGs made this assertion when she played host to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Director, Mr. YDO Yao, who paid her a courtesy visit in her office.

            She lauded President Mohammadu Buhari whom she described as a leader who has the love of Nigerians at heart, which informed his commitment with other world leaders to sign on the new development agenda SDGs, aimed at transforming the society by 2030.

            Princess Adejoke stated that, Education is key to development, while noting that, nothing meaningful can be achieved without education and that is the reason why the Federal Government constituted a committee for a pilot programme to get-out-of -school-children back to school. She added that, Nigeria must get it right, increase investment in the education sector so as to protect the future generation and achieve SDGs.

            She commended the effort of UNESCO in peace building, eradication of poverty, sustainable development; inter cultural dialogue through education, culture, communication and information. She promised to partner with them especially on the out – of – school – children programme, which according to her will fast track the achievement of goal 4 which is a means for attaining other goals.

            The UNESCO Regional Director, Mr. YDO Yao also pointed out that, UNESCO usually  pays great emphasis on SDGs programme with specific interest on education noting  that throughout the world, efforts are being made to ensure that education is at the front burner in order to ensure that no one is left behind.

            He said Nigeria is a signatory to Education for All (EFA), which recognizes the importance of literacy in National Development with a view to addressing developmental challenges posed by illiteracy. According to him, during the MDGs era, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs made available $6.4m for the project tagged “Revitalizing Adult and Youth literary” (RAYL) in Nigeria.

            He stated that during the period, RAYL embarked on advocacies in more than 292 communities leading to the establishment of 452 literacy centers and the involvement of 5,127,621 new learners into literacy classes. A total of 4,660,770 persons were made literate through the programme, thereby achieving 90% pass rate.

            He prayed that the SSAP-SDGs addresses the literacy gap nationwide in the 774 local government areas as RAYL would require some higher level of funding to achieve its objectives. He called on the office to approve RAYL 2 which will be domiciled in UNESCO to ensure that gains made in the first phase are sustained.

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