The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has identified the North-East as the most disadvantaged region in the country in terms of education.
This was disclosed by the Senior Programme Manager of CITAD, Kabiru Saidu Dakata, during a two-day workshop on ‘male adult literacy rate’ in Gombe. The workshop, which brought together journalists and CSOs from the six states of the Northeast zone, was organized by CITAD and funded by the United States Agency for International Development Agency (USAID). According to Dakata, “all states in the region have lower than national average rates, with Yobe and Borno have the lowest with 31.9% and 35.1% respectively.” He also noted that the corresponding “figures for female adult literacy are 14.9 and 18.0% respectively for the two states.” The performances of the states in both NECO and WAEC, he said, have been in the lowest tier nationwide. Dakata cited a survey which showed that the percentage of children between six and 16 years who have never attended school has high prevalence in Borno (72 percent), Yobe (58 percent) and Bauchi (52 percent). He stressed that “only about 20% of all school age girls get to attend school.”
The CITAD official said that the most prominent of the several factors responsible for this are poor funding of education, corruption, lack of accountability by policymakers as well as lack of capacity by civil society organizations (CSOs) and journalists to demand accountability and engage properly with the policy makers. He called for both journalists and the CSOs to go the extra mile to hold government accountable as such vigilance has become necessary for the growth of education in the region. CSOs and media practitioners have to get the people involved in monitoring government performance, demanding and enhancing transparency and exposing government failures and misdeeds.