Learning to teach youth and adults
The Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan (ELA) programmeme funded by the Government of Japan, is one of the largest literacy programmes in the country and is being jointly implemented by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education (MoE).Under the first phase of ELA, 300,000 illiterates in nine provinces (Badakhshan, Balkh, Bamiyan, Daikundi, Ghor, Nangarhar, Paktika, Samangan, Wardak) will be provided with literacy and life skills by February 2012 and 60% of the total beneficiaries will be women (in line with the National Education Strategic Plan).
In the late February 2010, UNESCO facilitated master trainers’ training for ELA Provincial and District Coordinators and Master Trainers, which focused on participatory teaching and communication skills in rural communities. The training was held in close collaboration with Literacy Department of the MoE in Kabul, where the participants learnt teaching skills as well as practical interactions.
Mr. Sayed Naeim, 28, from the Kati District of Dai Kundi province participated to the training. He has been working with ELA as a Master Trainer since last year. In a role play during the training, Sayed Naeim tried to use the lessons that he learned. He explained an issue and then tried to answer questions raised by other participants: “The most important thing in teaching is patience, which we learnt in this training. We should be patient while working with the adult literacy learners and try to answer their questions calmly” said Sayed Naeim.
Dai Kundi, located in the Afghan Central Highlands is one of the poorest and most inaccessible provinces in Afghanistan. As such, it was listed as the first priority province for the United Nation Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
As stated by Sayed Naeim: “There are few people who are able to read and write in the village where I come from. Our literacy classes are warmly welcomed by the villagers, especially by women”.
Sixty District and Provincial Coordinators and Master Trainers from the 9 provinces across Afghanistan where the first phase of the ELA programme is being implemented participated in the five-day training.
The second phase of the ELA programme will begin in April 2010 and will cover an additional 300,000 illiterate people in an additional 9 provinces (Badghis, Faryab, Ghazni, Khost, Kunar, Nimroz, Nooristan, Urozgan, Zabul). The second phase will raise the total beneficiaries of the ELA to 600,000 rural illiterates by 2013.