Ten years after the
World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand, nations
are just coming to terms with the need to create a literate society.
Too much is at stake for them not to. At the World Education Forum
in Dakar, Senegal, countries finally realized that, at the heart
of Education for All, inevitably lies Literacy for All. Creating
a literate and learning society must be seen as an inevitable prerequisite
to Education for All. The United Nations General Assembly will consider
later this year a proposal to proclaim a United Nations literacy
is hardly felt outside the illiterate population. How many of us
know what it is like to be an adult and illiterate in one's own
language? How many of us know an adult illiterate, for that matter?
It is hard for most of us to imagine the humiliation, the frustration
and the rage that illiterate people have to live with day after
day. To rally public support for literacy is to make the plight
of the illiterate and their children known -to unveil the mystery
surrounding it, to share the experience, raise the issues, discuss
the trends and face the challenges.
this document, we learn how UNESCO's latest efforts at promoting
post-literacy help alert the most vulnerable group -women and girls-
to the danger of HIV/AIDS in the southern African region where the
infection rate is the highest in the world. We will also catch a
glimpse of how the small kingdom of Bhutan struggles to educate
its people between the thin line of national integrity and modernity.
The story from Brazil tells of a young father who took it upon himself
to start teaching his children to read and write in their own language,
Terena, and how that has enhanced their schooling in the second
language. The experience of a Salvadorean non-governmental organization
worker shows how vision and commitment to literacy could make a
world of improvement in people's self-reliance and self-respect.
Modern information technology in promoting awareness of literacy
in Germany is demonstrated. The Haitian programme shows how a literacy
programme which combines civics, health, environment and livelihood
could benefit learners on the margin of society. From Tamil Nadu
in India, innovative use of bicycles in literacy programmes triggered
a whole gamut of positive changes empowering women and their communities.
The Israeli example shows how a specially designed literacy programme
integrates Ethiopian immigrants into the mainstream society. By
catering to the unique needs of the Maori people by involving them
at all levels, New Zealand has boosted the number of learners. We
will also read about how the sleepy island of Rodrigues (Mauritius)
mobilized young people to teach others who could not attend school.
in literacy emerge: mother tongue and second language literacy and
its intertwining with people's cultural identity, literacy as a
guiding ideology for people's empowerment, reaching well beyond
the 3R's , volunteerism and professionalism in literacy. These are
only some of the facets of literacy work. They are living proof
that literacy today is as complex and complicated as the world it
must serve. Creating a literate and learning world is an ambitious
but necessary task if Education for All is to become a reality.
The world needs, more than ever before, to understand literacy and
its implications, to take action and to help people face the various
new challenges -their own and their nations'.
Literacy and HIV/AIDS:
Tackling the Taboo in Africa · A Deceptive Idyll Challenging Tradition
in Bhutan · Schooling in the Mother Tongue, Brazil · The Meaning
of Literacy in El Salvador · Preventive Illiteracy and Promoting
Literacy in Germany · Community Commitment in Haiti · Illiteracy
in India - Targeting Women in Tamil Nadu · Integrating Ethiopian
Immigrants in Israel · Reaching out to Rodrigues - Literacy Programmes
in Mauritius · Addressing the Needs of Maori in New Zealand
and HIV/AIDS: Tackling the Taboo in Africa
Deceptive Idyll Challenging Tradition in Bhutan
in the Mother Tongue, Brazil
Meaning of Literacy in El Salvador
Illiteracy and Promoting Literacy in Germany
Commitment in Haiti
in India - Targeting Women in Tamil Nadu
Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel
out to Rodrigues - Literacy Programmes in Mauritius
the Needs of Maori in New Zealand