Education & Literacy


SSN believes passionately that education is the key that will unlock the potential of the Niger Delta. Education is a fundamental human right that enables children to realise other rights and fulfil their potential. It is a powerful tool in the fight against discrimination and stigmatisation. It can help to put an end to poverty, disease and suffering. Education therefore plays a key role in improving lives and enhancing the opportunities of individuals, families, communities and entire nations. Despite its importance, there are many countries throughout the world where much of the population remains uneducated.

The United Nations state that only 27 per cent of children in Nigeria, of official secondary school age, are enrolled in secondary school. One reason that may explain this figure is that although countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, are recognising the importance of education, access to it remains low.

In particular, the number of secondary schools within the Niger Delta region, compared to the number of primary schools is very low. Of those that have been established, few operate to a high standard. Many are dilapidated and lack sufficient resources. The costs of school fees, uniforms and books is also a factor that is likely to contribute to the fact that few children, (particularly for the 84% of the population which lives on less than $2 a day), are able to continue on to secondary education. There are signs of hope though. For example, the Federal government and progressive state governments, such as Akwa Ibom, have recently implemented policies to ensure free universal primary education for all.

To find out how we are supporting schools throughout the Niger Delta click here.



Literacy is a basic human right, but despite this millions of children in Africa are unable to read and write. Although over 400 indigenous languages are spoken in Nigeria, English remains the main language of instruction and is widely used for education, business transactions and all official purposes. Yet, according to the International Bureau of Education, over 57 million adults in Nigeria are illiterate in English and Nigerian languages.

Many children across Nigeria continue to leave school unable to read and write. Reasons for this include:

  • English is not spoken or read outside of school.
  • Lack of reading materials in and outside of state schools.
  • Teacher absenteeism and low levels of morale due to low salaries and a lack of resources and training.
  • Students are taught to memorise words and are unable to ‘decode’ new words.

Even with the best policy on education, any state will struggle to significantly raise literacy levels unless its children are educated in such a way that ensures success. Schools can be provided with increased funds, revised curricula and regular inspections, yet unless teachers know how to teach reading and writing in a way that is effective, all of these inputs will be futile.

To find out about the Read and Write Initiative which aims to ensure every child in Akwa Ibom State can read and write, click here.