In recent years it has been reported that an increasing number of young adults leaving
secondary school are unable to neither read nor write to the required standard for their age and
an even higher number of university graduates have worse literacy rate than that expected of
primary school students. The drastic drop in the literacy level in our nation has had an adverse
effect on our ability as a nation to develop particularly at the grass root level.

According to an article on literacy in Nigeria, functional literacy (achieved through basic
education) is the key to a nation’s ability to develop and achieve sustainable developmental
targets. Being literate enables people to use their acquired knowledge to promote activities for
economic gain, which is both beneficiary to the individual and the society at large. The higher
the rate of literacy of the population, the higher their earning potential which in effect increases
the internal generated revenue. It is also argued that national unity, economic growth and
technological development in Nigeria cannot be achieved without recourse to literacy and
effective communication between the government and ordinary citizens.
According to UNESCO figures, illiteracy is most prevalent in developing countries with Nigeria
having an illiteracy rate of 25.6% adult males and 40% adult females. The country’s illiteracy
rate for male between 15 to 20 years of age is 9.3% while that of females in this age is 13.5%.
This is not a good indicator of the state of the educational system in the country, where
students in primary and secondary schools have poor oral language skills, reading and writing
difficulties which is creating a new class of Nigerians that are semi-illiterate and lacking the
capacity to communicate effectively.
Attesting to the fact, that the most important skill any child can leave the primary school with is
the ability to read independently and write effectively for meaning, the Excel Literary and
Debating project in collaboration with The Orderly Society Trust is proposing a literacy
improvement project at the primary school level. A specialized curriculum modeled after
curriculums being used in high class private primary schools has been developed by our
consultants and will be targeted at public primary schools in the country.
As the intention of this project is not to replace English classes in the public primary schools,
the curriculum will be used during weekly extracurricular activities in the target public primary
schools. The Excel Literary and Debating project will operate as a club, where 40 selected pupils
from primary one and two meet weekly under the supervision of Excel trained teachers to
improve their reading, writing and oratory skills. These classes are aimed at building the
capacity of the pupils to participate in literary and debating intra and interstate competitions.
This in the long run will promote a better appreciation of the English language in the target
public schools.
Thank you for taking the time out to consider volunteering for The Excel Literary and Debating Project.
The purpose of this program is to develop the reading, writing and oratory skills of the pupils in the
target public schools. It will also promote a better appreciation of the English language to ensure the
pupils can constructively express their thought and articulate their words during Literary and Debating
It is our belief that every Nigerian Child regardless of his or her socioeconomic background should have
access to quality education for a brighter future. It has been proven, that success in any subject,
depends overly on the literacy competence of the student. The Excel project will provide a unique
opportunity for pupils in the public schools to build their reading and writing skills to ensure they
acquire the literacy competence needed to succeed in their educational pursuit.
We ask for a commitment of one hour a week for a year or for the duration of each session, which is
three months. The Excel club holds once a week on Wednesday, from 1pm to 2pm. There will be a
maximum of 40 pupils in each class to ensure each student has the full attention of our dedicated
teachers and supervisors.
Please fill in the enclosed application, answer the last four questions on a separate sheet of paper, and
mail it to us at the address below. Upon receipt of your application we will call you to set up a short
orientation (about one hour). After you attend the orientation, you will be provided with a welcome
pack which will contain the curriculum, teaching aid, lesson plan, text book (if applicable), your schedule
and other information you may require.
I am available to answer questions any time during your application process or after you have started
attending club activities. Thank you once again for your interest in our program. Being an ‘Excel’
volunteer can begin a fascinating and fulfilling time in your life.
The Excel Team looks forward to meeting you.
Yours Sincerely,
Foluso Idumu
Program Coordinator