1 Game winning war against Illiteracy

1 GAME founder, Philip Obaji says massive progress is being made in the fight against illiteracy in Nigeria.

He was speaking to journalists at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar on Sunday, shortly before departing to Lagos where he is expected to deliver an address at the LEAP Africa Social Innovators Award ceremony taking place on Monday.

Obaji said new statistics show that in many areas in the country, particularly those that have benefited from the presence of the 1 GAME Campaign, school enrollment rates have massively improved.

“There’s good news coming from Gombe. I’ve been informed that in those communities be worked in, school enrollment has increased above 10 percent as compared to last year. It’s the same in Borno where we are campaigning right now.

“Here in Cross River State where we've worked the most, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Chairman told me the other day that enrollment has passed the 90 percent mark. You can see that the effort we've put in so far is yielding result. Credit must also go to SUBEB because they've put in a lot as well.

“When we kicked off our school enrollment campaign, we knew we would face an uphill task particularly in the North-East, but these figures by all standard shows we are winning this fight,” he said.

Despite improvement in school enrollment in many areas, illiteracy level in the country is still on a high with more than 10 million children out of school.

The current Education for All Global Monitoring report ranks Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest level of illiteracy. The report indicates that the national literacy rate stands at 54 percent, consisting of 64.8 percent for females and 73 percent for males.

On the zonal level, South- South, South –East and South-West had 69 percent literacy level; North-Central 44 percent, North- West 42 percent and North – East 33 percent respectively.

The study further revealed that the North – East had the highest number of illiterates, followed by the North- West and North-Central respectively.

1 Game started as a campaign against violence in Nigerian stadia and football viewing centers until the organisers decided to take the battle to schools.

It is believed that education is the first step to taking the violence out of young people.

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