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Enugu SSG shocked, reveals 50% of pupils in state cannot read, solve simple maths



Secretary to the Enugu State Government (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, has lamented that 50% of the pupils in the state can neither read in English nor solve simple mathematics questions.

Onyia who disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the quadrennial convention of the Old Boys Association of Union Secondary School, Awkunanaw, on Thursday, said the shocking discovery was an embarrassment to the state.

Onyia who spoke on the theme ‘Smart Basic Education and the Future of Africa’, noted that the government had 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,” the SSG said.

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

He further 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 said.

He, however, assured that the state government’s education policy has been repositioned to incorporate bio-digital-technology that would drive industrial growth which would be achieved through the introduction of innovative technologies in education, particularly at the basic education level.

“In Enugu, we now believe that in addition to providing continuous training and professional development to teachers within the school systems, we must also transform how teachers teach, as well as how students learn,” he added.

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