UN emphasises effect of literacy on peace and conflict resolution

Daouda Toure , the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Nigeria, on Monday, said that the Federal Government had set aside N1 billion self-benefiting funds-in-trust to be domiciled with UNESCO, to revitalise adult and youth literacy in the country.

Toure, who spoke in Abuja at a roundtable on cultivating peace, which was held to mark the 2012 International Literacy celebration, said that the project aimed to accelerate national efforts to achieve Education For All (EFA) goals three and four, with emphasis on skills development to empower individual and communities to reduce poverty.

“One of the strategic priorities of the project revitalising adult and youth literacy in Nigeria is the creation of multi-sectoral committees for literacy at federal, state and local government levels,” he said, explaining that NGOs, UN, and other international development partners should participate in the provision of quality literacy and non-formal education.

“It is not hard to see that literacy and illiterate population are a fundamental requirement for peace, which is essential for the success of our development works in Nigeria.”

Toure urged the Federal Government to work with other stakeholders in the implementation of a literacy project whose success would reinforce a collective effort in support of the transformation agenda.

He said that that would be a prelude to the creation of a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria consisting of people who respect diversity, value human rights, recognise injustice and respond to conflict with methods other than violence.

This, he said, would restore and deepen peace and advance development in the country.

Rashid Aderinoye, deputy executive secretary of service with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), urged education authorities to create machineries that would integrate peace education in the school curriculum.

Aderinoye said the integration of peace education in the school curriculum would help to reduce the spate of violence in the country.

“If we are to reduce the spate of violence, and conflicts such as murdering of innocent children, youths as well as adults, peace education is a necessity,? he said.

He called on teachers to be exposed to orientation that would empower them to promote peaceful relationships in schools as well as outside.

He said that all hands must be on deck to ensure a greater reduction of illiteracy among Nigeria?s population, through effective peace education.

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