Lagos State Agency for Mass Education has organised a webinar for stakeholders in the education sector as part of activities to commemorate the Year 2020 International Literacy Day.
In his opening address, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, stated that the International Literacy Day is observed every September 8 to raise awareness and remind people of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
Wahab noted that this year’s event with the theme “Literacy Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond”, was aimed at exploring literacy from the perspective of global disruption and the need for facilitators and learners, particularly in the adult learning set-up, to update their digital skills so as to align with the present-day realities.
He maintained that the altering of the education process and delivery globally by COVID-19 compelled educators and learners to accept and live by the new normal to enable continuous development in the sector, asserting that all hands must be on deck to help eradicate illiteracy as much as possible in our midst.
On her part, the Director, Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesanwo, restated the state’s commitment to mass literacy and implored learners to catch up with the radio programme, Mooko, Mooka.
In her presentation, themed, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Youths & Adult Literacy Education, Lessons Learnt & Way Forward”, Dr. Blessing Anyikwa, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, observed that COVID-19 has widened social and digital divide among learners.
Expressing her concern that the situation will further aggravate learning disparities amongst adult learners, Anyikwa urged the government to equip learning centres with technology infrastructure to assist both teaching and learning process that will make education accessible to all.
She called on private investors to partner with the State government in the area of technology to support the drive for mass literacy.
Also speaking, a Senior Lecturer at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Dr. Adejoke Ajayi pointed out the need to embrace alternative strategies to continue and sustain the gains of adult education in Lagos State.
In her discourse on “Bridging the Gap between Policy and Reality in Adult Teaching and Learning in COVID-19 Crisis”, Ajayi also identified the alternative strategies that can be adapted to make learning continue unhindered in spite of the pandemic.
While acknowledging that Lagos State has been exemplary in the area of adult and youth education with impressive achievements to show for it, Dr. Ajayi suggested that alternative learning strategies should be explored in order to bridge the gap between government policy and the reality of COVID-19.