The Supervising Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike, yesterday said about 10 million Nigerian children are illiterates.

Of the figure, the minister said about nine million are from the North.

He explained that the special vocational school, built by the Federal Government through Universal Basic Education (UBE), would reduce the children roaming the streets.

The minister spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony of Federal Government Universal Basic Education (UBE), Special Vocational School, Ukana, in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

He said the Goodluck Jonathan administration needs to first tackle the situation in the North by building 300 vocational schools.

According to him, the Federal Government is kick-starting vocational education in the Southsouth, beginning from Akwa Ibom to other states.

The minister said the project would enable the government to expand the educational transformation of the state.

He hailed Governor Godswill Akpabio for imbibing the transformation agenda of President Jonathan through quality education.

The minister said the project would be completed in the next six months.

The UBE Secretary Dr Suleiman Dikko said research showed that Nigeria had the largest population of children roaming the streets without education.

He said this was why the Federal Government introduced the programme.

Dikko noted that the programme would provide opportunity for boys who had dropped out of school or were never in school.

He said that the school focuses on manpower development and skilled acquisition, noting that the vocational school in the state would be well equipped and would be a full boarding institution.

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio also emphasised the need for governments in the country to train youths in skill acquisition programmes to enable them to be self-employed in future.

Akpabio also stressed the need to educate Nigerian children not only in reading but also in writing to enable them realise their self-worth.

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