Welcome to myschoollibrary! Today in our social studies lesson, We will be looking at the topic “Illiteracy”. Do have a pleasant time studying with us.

Lesson Note

Subject: Social Studies

Class: JS2

Topic: Illiteracy

Learning Objectives: by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define the term illiteracy;
  2. Identify the causes of illiteracy;
  3. State the consequences of illiteracy;
  4. State certain solutions to illiteracy.


The term Illiteracy can be defined as the inability to read or write. Some people are not educated enough to be able to meaningfully participate in modern Nigerian society. Illiteracy is, therefore one of the leading social problems in the Nigerian society.
There are many causes of illiteracy in Nigeria. The most important ones includes;
i. Traditions and Values: Some parents originally thought their children would suffer too much if they were sent to school. They, therefore, refused to send their children to school. Such parents did not seem the need for it, especially since they thought education meant the same thing as conversion to Christianity. This happened at a time when Christian missionaries were mostly in charge of mission schools which they had set up. The generation of children, who liver during this period, and under this error, form part of the illiterates class today.
ii. Poverty: Some people are too poor to send their children to school. This can cause Illiteracy in the long run.
iii. Wrong Policies and Priorities: If policies do not take account of poverty and other factors that make it difficult for some children to receive an education, the cycle of poverty will remain.
iv. Wrong Attitude to Education: When parents and government do not see the real need for education, then they will not invest in it. In the process, illiteracy will continue to exist in the Nigeria society.

Consequences of Illiteracy

Illiteracy causes a lot of problems for the progress and development of any society. The following are some of them:
i. Illiteracy promotes poverty
ii. Illiteracy inhibits progress and development
iii. People who cannot read or write are more vulnerable to manipulation.
iv. People who are illiterate are not likely to get good paying jobs.
v. Illiterate persons are likely to remain poor because the opportunities available to them to make a difference in their lives and in the lives or their dependants are fewer.
vi. Illiteracy reduces the amount of family and national income because number of people who could have made productive interests investments in society is reduced.
vii. Illiteracy is linked to violence because of the unhappiness it sometimes produces as a result of the inabilyof the illiterate to access a number of opportunities in society.

Solutions to Illiteracy

In a modern world driven by technology, for a society to develop, it’s citizens must be adequately educated to cope with the challenges of building a modern society. Thus, the government has to do a lot to eradicate or at least reduce Illiteracy. Below are some of the measures that could be taken.
i. Strengthen the existing mass literacy campaign
ii. Strengthen the existing adult education programme.
iii. Offer scholarship to children of poor parents who cannot afford to send their children to school.
iv. Make universal primary education free and extend free secondary and tertiary education to children from poor families.
v. Increase the number of girls and women who benefit from educational subsidy, because it is more likely for a child to receive an education if the mother had received one herself.


Done studying? Take a quick test using the following questions!
1. Define illiteracy
2. What are some of the factors responsible for Illiteracy?
3. Mention four effects of illiteracy
4. How can the government of your country eradicate illiteracy?

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