Saturday, June 30, 2012
ADULT LITERACY A SOLUTION TO POVERTY REDUCTION
Lessons learnt from the Neganega Literacy Programme by both local and international Literacy providers. Extract from Mkandawire Sitwe Benson (2012) An evaluation of the neganega literacy programme in Mazabuka district of the southern province of Zambia. Lusaka:unpublished Masters dissertation but available in UNZA library. The programme is performing well due to a number of factors: firstly, the aims, goals and objectives of the programme are valid and relevant to peoples’ lives. Secondly, the benefits of the programme are immediate and visible within the community and lastly, the inception, development and implementation of the programme involved all the stakeholders in the community. Due to the practical skills participants learned, the programme is able to reach a wide audience with a variety of target groups, thereby, commanding a great deal of acceptance from people both within and outside the community. Voluntary facilitators were very committed to community work even if they were not paid and because they were well-trained for the task at hand, they were perceived as credible sources of information about literacy, HIV/AIDS, sexuality and income generation. While lessons imparted important factual and practical information, the variety of applied programme components in business, reflect circle discussions, sensitization campaigns and community tours encouraged reinforcement of what students learned from the lessons. The use of local languages Tonga and Nyanja and the Informal interaction between programme participants and facilitators inside and outside the classroom through field trips developed trust, which made them more influential in the classroom and in the community. Monthly and annual meetings by programme facilitators to refresh their minds, share strengths and weaknesses provided an opportunity for the staff to learn new things and develop trust in each other. If programme administrators do not create conducive learning environment, provide appropriate teaching and learning materials, a proper syllabus and put up a mechanism for guiding facilitators with lesson plans and other necessities, the programme might lose a lot of clients, popularity and later become moribund. The inadequacy of frequent monitoring of facilitators, follow up on graduates’ application of skills in the society might make the programme loose value in the near future. The inadequacy of external motivation in the form of remuneration of facilitators, might create a sense of programme discontinuity in the near future even if administrators were to change facilitators.