By Okechukwu Onuegbu
Residents of Anambra yet to acquire formal education have been urged to enroll for basic studies with the Anambra State Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Nonformal Education (AANFE) which has over 286 study centres across 181 communities in the state.
The Acting Executive Secretary/Director of the agency, Mr. Donatus Nwosu, who made the appeal in an exclusive interview with Orient Daily, revealed that the agency has 798 university degree holders as facilitators who teach with approved standard primary and secondary schools curriculums.
According to Nwosu, the programme is entirely free for prospective leaners (students) courtesy of Anambra State government, federal government and international organisations which also supply them with text books and other materials.
“For now, greater per centage of our learners are businessmen and businesswomen. The population changes according to season and locations. For instance, in raining seasons, the population drops in rural areas where most people are farmers. This is because some might choose to visit their farm before coming to class. Most times, when they come back, they will find it difficult to attend class again. Our people must know that literacy and education is for all, not only the businessmen or women alone or for politicians alone. Everyone must strive to be educated because with it, you will become a good leader and useful in society and in your endeavour,” he noted.
The director, while commending Governor Willie Obiano for boosting education, especially the adult and non-formal education, urged the traditional rulers and president generals of the 181 communities, market leaders, religious institutions and organisations, age grades and others not to relent in informing their people about the existence of the institution.
“We have centres in all the 21 local government areas in the state headed by our unit heads. With the assistance of our governor and commissioner, we cover and monitor our centres effectively. The UNESCO recently rated us thirdin the whole of Nigeria. And we are working hard to become first. We are pleading for implementation of the National Benchmark Salary of our workers and other things so that we will be able to achieve greater height because we work day and night at every nooks and crannies of the state.
“Because of the nature of our studies, we issue Primary School Leaving Completion Certificate instead of Primary School Leaving Certificate (first school leaving certificate—FSLC). This is recognised and equivalent to FSLC. But instead of undergoing it for six years, our learners can study for three years or more once they are able to pass the relevant examination which is also conducted by Anambra State Ministry of Education through the education research centre. Over 3,000 sat for it last time and came out in flying colours. With this certificate, our learners can proceed to ordinary secondary school or its equivalent in our system called Continuing Education Centres. We have over 115 continuing centres in Anambra state. But it stopped at Junior Secondary School certificate.
“With this basic education, one can sit for normal West Africa Secondary School Certificate (WASSC) or National Examination or General Certificate Examination (GCE). Some can even gain admission into higher institutions of their choice. We have some of our leaners who went to universities. For now, we have over 100,000 learners in Anambra state. The federal government through its National Commission for Mass Literacy provide technical training to our facilitators and working staff, including literacy by radio and other logistics support,” Nwosu maintained.