Youth and Adult Literacy

Community radio practitioners gather to discuss means of audience engagement for a civic education and lifeskills programmes © Masakazu/UNESCO

Literacy has been widely acknowledged as key factor for ensuring sustained human development. However, it remains among the most neglected of all education.

Progress towards 2015 target of halving illiteracy has been slow and uneven. Illiteracy rate is highest in sub-Saharan Africa at 38%. The average illiteracy rate for the sub-Saharan region is 38%. Kenya and Uganda have the lowest adult illiteracy rate (about 27%).

Minority language groups and indigenous people often register lower levels of literacy. Furthermore, illiteracy tends to be higher in poorer regions, rural areas and unplanned settlements (slums).

Capacity Development Programme for Education for All (CapEFA) in Rwanda
The literacy rate of people aged 15 and above in Rwanda is estimated to be around 65.3%. The country has made great expansion in the past ten years in the field of primary education; however this effort needs to be completed with specific targeted efforts in the  area of  non-formal education.

Having identified Rwanda as one of 20 priority countries, UNESCO developed a major initiative titled ‘Capacity Development Programme for Education for All (CapEFA)’ in partnership with Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and in context of the 2008-2012 United Nations Delivering as One Common Operation Document.

This intiative is expected to significantly contribute towards achieving quality education as articulated in Vision 2020 and more concretely towards the Adult Education and Literacy component of the 2010-2015 Rwanda Education Sector Strategy.

Literacy Assessment and Capacity Development in Kenya In partnership with the Government of Canada, UNESCO supported the Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE), in the Ministry of Education to conduct the 2005/06 Kenya National Adult Literacy Survey (KNALS). The Nairobi Office is currently working with DACE, to produce a short follow-up review of the status of literacy situation in Kenya based on the KNALS report.

The Nairobi Office also supports capacity development of DACE staff at the Ministry of Education as well as members of Kenya Adult learners Association (KALA).

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