The Director-General launches Literacy Week in Côte d’Ivoire
After inaugurating the UNESCO Office in Abidjan, and together with the Minister of Education and officials, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, visited the Palais des Congrès in the Hôtel Ivoire to launch Literacy Week in Côte d’Ivoire, in celebration of International Literacy Day.
The purpose of the celebration, in connection with International Literacy Day (8 September), was on the one hand to raise awareness of literacy and strengthen support for it, and on the other to gauge progress made in recent years. In a packed meeting room, the various speakers addressed representatives of the diplomatic corps, NGOs and United Nations system agencies, emphasizing the importance of literacy in the social and economic advancement of citizens, particularly in regard to women’s empowerment and well-being. A warm tribute was paid to the Ivorian NGO “Savoir pour mieux vivre”, UNESCO Literacy Prize-winner for 2013.
The rate of illiteracy stands at over 40% in Côte d’Ivoire and is an obstacle to individual development and the development of society. The partners were invited to support the Government’s efforts to increase significantly the literacy rate throughout the country, as a driving force for development in Côte d’Ivoire. The Director-General welcomed the action taken by the Government and NGOs, and reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to providing all the technical support necessary to the ministry responsible for literacy for it to implement its policy. She thus recalled UNESCO’s initiative to support 10 countries in Africa, including Côte d’Ivoire, in developing a Literacy Acceleration Plan.
The ceremony concluded with a visit to the stands displaying literacy resources (posters in national languages, teaching materials, etc.). On the same day, the Director-General launched the project on continuous teacher training, financed from a Chinese fund-in-trust mobilized by UNESCO. This ceremony, in the presence of the Ambassador of China to Côte d’Ivoire and technical and financial partners, was held at the national teaching resources centre, entirely renovated and equipped and made available by the Ivorian Government as the practical dimension of the distance teacher-training policy using information and communication technologies (ICTs). The main aim of the project is to help improve the quality of education in Côte d’Ivoire, through better training and professional development for teachers, educational supervisors and managerial staff. The parties involved welcomed this productive tripartite cooperation between UNESCO, the Ivorian Government and China.
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