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The Secretary to the Government of Enugu State (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia has revealed that a Baseline Assessment of primary schools in the state, which was carried out in November 2023 showed that after six years of basic education, 50 per cent of the pupils could not read a single word in English.
He continued by saying that the study also showed that 50% of kids could not handle basic subtraction problems, and even those who can read have trouble understanding what they are reading.
“What we found out in Enugu State is written large across our nation,” Onyia said while delivering a keynote address titled, “Smart Basic Education and the Future of Africa” at the quadrennial convention of the Old Boys Association of Union Secondary School, Awkunanaw, on Thursday in Enugu.
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The SSG said it was said that in Nigeria, 3 out of 4 children who completed basic education lack numeracy and literacy proficiency.
“The World Bank, UNICEF, and UNESCO have defined this as ‘the Nigerian Learning Crisis’.
“On top of this, our children suffer a “Skills Gap” because existing modes of teaching do not equip children with scientific, technological, productive, and digital competences,” Onyia added.
The SSG, however, said that the state government education policy has been repositioned to incorporate bio-digital technology that would drive industrial growth.
This, he said, would be achieved through the introduction of innovative technologies in education, particularly at the basic education level.
He said that Gov. Peter Mbah had taken deliberate steps to reform the education system to meet the changing global demands.
Onyia assured that the challenges were being addressed through well-thought-out radical policy initiatives by the government.
The SSG said this included the introduction of smart school model across the 260 electoral wards in the state, which had new facilities such as centres for artificial intelligence and robotics, and interactive smart boards among others.
The SSG added that the academic curricula would now prioritise experiential learning methods, problem-solving and case studies.
He said that the changes would not only equip students with emerging technological skills, but also afford them opportunities to compete with their peers globally.