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Nigeria's Kano State Starts a Major Literacy Campaign



Nigeria has one of the world's highest rates of people who cannot read or write. But a government agency is taking steps to educate more than 400,000 Nigerians in Kano State. The Kano State Agency for Mass Education has set high goals for literacy, the ability to read and write.

Minister of States for Education Nyesom Wike reported on the situation last September. The minister said the number of illiterate Nigerian adults has increased by 10 million over the past 20 years. The current total is 35 million. To improve that situation, Kano's education agency has joined with "Education for All," a project of the United nations' Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. Working together, they have launched more than 8,000 adult literacy classes in 44 areas. Their hope is to raise adult literacy levels to 90 percent in Kano States by 2015. The agency says it now has 16,000 people to teach and train students.

Another goal is to create jobs and improve living conditions. The Kano City Women Center is one of many of learning centers for young and adult women. It serves hundreds of students at its school and at a vocational, or occupational, center. At the center, women learn sewing skills and make products like soaps and air fresheners. Twenty-five year old Halima Aminu is a mother of three children. She started going to the Kano City Women Center in 2010. Now, she is in her final year at the senior, secondary-level. Halima Aminy hopes to continue her education at the nest level and someday become a medical doctor.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.