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Mallpai Foundation and the Promotion of Literacy in Nigeria



Mallpai Foundation and the Promotion of Literacy in Nigeria

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         By Abdullahi Umar

In what is seen as a tremendous effort in promoting inclusive and equitable education of the girl-child in Nigeria. The Mass Literacy for the Less Privileged and Almajiri Initiative, MALLPAI FOUNDATION under the leadership of Her Excellency Hajia Aisha Atiku Bagudu, the Wife of Kebbi State Governor will commence the celebration of the organization’s Literacy Day 2021, which is on Promoting Literacy in Nigeria by strengthening educational opportunities and learning outcomes for the less privileged with focus on educating of the Girl-Child which will be taken place in Abuja between 17th & 18th of September 2021.  The organization centers on the empowerment of the vulnerable groups in the society particularly, enrolment of children in school by reducing the menace of illiteracy in various communities through advocacy, improved enrolment threshold awareness as well as putting in place support mechanisms for education. Touching the lives of the less privileged in many ways by helping them to have access to quality education and equal opportunities which had really helped many of them to realize their potentials has been the major objective of the foundation.


As stated by the United Nations, before the outbreak of COVID-19, more than 260 million children, adolescents and youth were out of school, while more than 617 million were not learning, achieving only minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Presently, the COVID-19 Pandemic has exacerbated the global education crisis with more than 1.5 billion children who face disrupted education while too many children are still at risk of not returning to school, especially those that are most marginalized including girls, children with disabilities, and children on the move.



Nigeria a country with over 200 million people is among the country in West Africa with the highest number of girls that are out of school. Girls in the Northern part of the country constitute the highest percentage of 13.5m out-of-school Nigerian children, they are unable to access free education and quality basic education with girls in the North-East Sub-region constituting a higher percentage. The high number of out-of-school can be attributed to insurgency and other security challenges that have continued to affect the girl-child enrolment in schools also,  the inability of parents to provide adequate and basic education for the girl-child by sending her to school which is their sole responsibility, either as a result of poverty, illiteracy, culture or religious misconceptions has contributed in creating inequality between the male and the female children enrolment in schools across the country.



MALLPAI Foundation believes that education is an instrument of State and National Development that could be employed to achieve political, economic and social developments. Education is the key to ending poverty. Education is meant for all, it is the fundamental human right of every child whether boy or girl, able or disable to acquire basic education. The foundation is of the view that there should be no discrimination as to who get an education.  This is because the low enrolment of girl–child in school is contributing to the widening educational and economic gap between the men and women folks in Nigeria.


Hajia Aisha Atiku Bagudu has said, what she finds particularly remarkable is the fact that her foundation has been very good at striking strategic partnerships with other players in order to reach out to target beneficiaries of its noble initiatives, and that these partners are key in accelerating socio-economic development throughout the world as recommended by the United Nations in the area of empowering the girl-child and other less privileged in the country. She also said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. This has also corroborated with what has been advocated by the likes of Amina J. Mohammed, Under Secretary of the United Nations who stated that education is a human right and is central for building sustainable and resilient societies, as well as for achieving personal aspirations and all the other Sustainable Development Goals. That there is no doubt if children and youth are equipped with relevant knowledge and skills it will have a catalytic impact on eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, improving health, driving economic growth and achieving gender equality. She went further to say that without investing in youth that will lead to the creation of  an enabling environment for them to learn and acquire skills for decent work, sustainability, climate change awareness and global citizenship, we will not deliver on our promise for the future we want. That without ensuring quality and inclusive education for all, we will not be able to advance our efforts for more peaceful and inclusive societies and for promoting respect for human rights.



A year of education according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), can change a girl’s life completely, an extra year of secondary school can increase a woman’s income by 15 percent in the future, generating virtuous circle. In the words of Alice Albright, Chief Executive of Global Partnership for Education, she said, “when girls stays in school, child marriages  go  down, HIV goes down and sexual violence goes down”.

Recently, His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, had also  advocated for more commitment to Girl-child education in the country. The monarch said educating the girl child is a responsibility of all stakeholders from parents to the leaders of the society.

“We will continue to ensure full support towards imparting knowledge on our children especially the Girl Child.

“The increase in the number of out of School children in Nigeria most especially in our region is becoming so alarming.

“As leaders we will continue to fulfill our responsibilities by engaging the government in ensuring better and sustainable commitment to education,” he said.

Moreover, in the area of the empowerment of the girl-child over the years, MALLPAI foundation has been advocating and calling on society not to use socio-cultural and religious factors as a yardstick to relegate the girl-child.  The recent commissioning of the state of the art ICT centre by the foundation in Abuja which was supported by the Mashav-Israel’s Foreign Aid Agency is a good step in the right direction. The education of the girl- child should be as important as that of the boy-child if not most important as people opinion assert that when a woman is educated a nation is educated.

One interesting thing is that apart from the promotion of the education of the girl-child, Hajia Aisha Bagudu has also taken away thousands of Almajiris out of the streets and had provided them with basic necessity of life such as education, skills acquisition programme, Health care,  hygiene  and donation of land.

Abdullahi Umar is an International Affairs analyst and a Development Worker, writes in from Abuja, and can be reached on 08069111610.







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