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“The advantage of having a literate population is self-evident. It will among many things enable the country to conserve resources. During elections, for example, there may be no need to spend so much resource on radio and television announcements/ banners if the country has a more literate electorate.  Educating adults could also help to equip them to aspire to a better quality of life.There is a need for investment in both formal basic education and youth and adult literacy and non-formal education in order to ensure that children, youth and adults have access to adequate educational opportunities which will help them develop their literacy skills. The job of educating adults in the country is however not the government’s alone, although it should be the greatest motivator and driver. The fact hundreds of thousands of 15-year-olds are illiterate is scandalous in a country with so much resources.”

"Nigeria’s burden of adult illiteracy,”

Daily Trust Op-ed, Thursday, 09 October 2014,


There are over 10 million of out-of-school children in Nigeria – the highest number in the world in absolute terms, and over 35 million illiterate population in the country. That is, people who can neither read nor write. People who would be lost, even when there are road signs and street maps, were they to travel from one part of the country to another on their own. That is, people who must depend on others to read their letters, text messages, or make telephone calls.

Surely, most people in this group (especially women and rural dwellers) operate at the fringes or margins of their communities’ economic, social and political lives. And there can be no better empowerment measure to bring this excluded population to the mainstream than through education. We are thus committed to ensuring that they learn to read, write and perform simple computational operations that can raise their productivity and livelihood options.

Adult literacy programmes in Nigeria are coordinated by the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, NMEC, which is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education. It is represented in each state of the federation by a State Agency for Mass Education, SAME, which licenses and regulates operations of non-state agencies delivering adult literacy interventions in any of the states.

Ikeoha Foundation commenced its adult education Programme in 2009 to assist government in eradicating mass illiteracy among adult male and female members of our communities, and teenagers who dropped out of school or who cannot afford to go to regular schools in Nigeria. At the last count, the foundation has established and is operating 32 Adult Literacy Centers and provided basic education to over 10000 learners free of charge. The Adult Education Programme is one of our cardinal approaches towards building people and empowering communities, byreintegrating adult men, women and teenage school dropouts who before now did not have the opportunity of formal education into the mainstream social, educational, religious and political activities of their communities.Our programme has been running since 2009 following approved given in the same year by the Enugu State Agency for Mass Education, Enugu SAME, and annual renewal licenses given subsequently by the agency.

On our part, the Foundation continues to providefree learning materials needed by the learners for effective learning such as chalk, chalkboards, exercise books, pencils, pens, registers, diaries, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, dusters, and text books. We also ensure prompt payment of allowances to the personnel (instructors, supervisors and coordinators) that handle the adult learners. Coping with the demands of this noble programme has become challenging, such that we can do with donor support.


Processes of setting up a Community-Based Adult Literacy Centre

There are 29 Centres operational in the programme currently. Download list of centres HERE.

Statistics reveals that there are serious gender inequalities in educational attainment. Diverse factors are responsible for the inadequate access for both boys and girls in eastern and northern states of Nigeria respectively. In the same vein, a huge disparity still exists nationally between men and women, boys and girls in educational access, retention and completion. According to the National Literacy Survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (2009), literacy rate was calculated based on ability to read and write in English and any language and the overall adult literacy rate was 56.9%. Adult literacy rates were 74.6% and 48.7% for urban andrural areas respectively. The overall adult literacy rate among the males was 65.1% while that of females was 48.6%. Lagos maintains the lead among the States with 88.3% while Yobe State has the lowest adult literacy rate of 14.4%.

“The Survey also shows the literacy rates by age group with 45% for ages 3-4 years, while the high literacy rates of 60-78% captures the age groups of persons between 15-29 years. The peak, 78% are persons between the age group 15-19 years.”

  • UNESCO Eighth E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting on Education for All, “Literacy for Development”, Abuja, Nigeria

21-24 June 2010

Deriving from the findings of the National Bureau of Statistics cited above and from our own experience, this programme is targeted at:

  • Adults and adolescents (15 years and above) who have never been to school and cannot read or write
  • Adults and adolescents (15 years and above) who are above school going age but have notachieved required basic competencies in reading, writing and numeracy.


Qualified adults receive First School Leaving Certificates, FSLC.

Adults in rural communities acquire basic literacy, numeracy, vocational, family life and health skills.

Specifically, the programme is targeted at rural women, peasant farmers, market women and men, girl-child and out- of -school boys, illiterate and semi-skilled workers and artisans.



To promote sustainable livelihood in rural communities in Nigeria by transferring basic literacy, numeracy, vocational, family life and health skills to adult men and women who did not receive formal education earlier in life. To facilitate acquisition of basic school certificate and consequent expansion of earning potentials by adults in rural communities in Nigeria who did not receive or complete formal basic education in the past.

Over 6000 adult learners have passed through the Foundation’s adult literacy programme. A very good number of them are now able to function effectively in the different domains of learning: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Thus, they are now able to manipulate their phones and communicate with their loved ones, able to operate simple arithmetical operations to enhance their business and vocational operations and able to engage in various other crafts, perform their civic duties and commune more effectively with their God. One of our adult learners, Mrs Chucks considers herself one of the greatest achievers of all time. Read her story here.


  • July 5, 2012

The first batch of the Foundation adult learners sat for the First School Leaving Certificate Exam (FSLC). Learners were registered for free by the Foundation to sit for the exam.

  • July 4, 2013

Second batch of our adult learners sat for the First School Leaving Certificate Exam (FSLC).

  • July 17, 2014

Third batch of adult learners sat for the First School Leaving Certificate Examination.

The examinations were moderated and invigilated by Examination Development Center (EDC), Enugu

  • May 17, 2014

The Foundation celebrated her maiden Adult Literacy Day to graduate the 2012 and 2013 (1st and 2nd batches) of the adult learners. The ceremony was witnessed by the Chairman of Ikeoha Foundation, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR, Trustees of the Foundation, Directors from the National Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, NMEC, prominent Nigerians and members of the public. It was indeed an epochal event. Our graduating adult learners received their testimonials and FSLC Certificates and empowerment prizes. The event featured match past, recitations, debate, cultural dance, craft exhibition, drama and spelling bee competition by the learners.


The Enugu State Agency for Mass Literacy collaborates with the foundation to ensure continuous success of the programme through monitoring, evaluation and counseling.

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