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50% of pupils in Enugu cannot read – SSG Onyia

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The Secretary to the Enugu State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, says 50 per cent of pupils in the state can neither read in English nor solve simple mathematics questions.

Onyia disclosed this 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.

He said the government discovered the shortcoming in its Baseline Assessment of primary schools in the state, conducted in November 2023.


“Our findings were shocking. After six years of primary school, 50 per cent of our children cannot read a single word in English and those who can read struggle with comprehension.

“50% of our children cannot solve simple subtraction challenges. What we found out in Enugu State is written large across our nation”.

He expressed concern that in Nigeria, three out of four 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.

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