Literacy and pandemics: renewal of the collaboration agreement between UNESCO and CONALFA for the continuity of education

Literacy processes are crucial to motivate, encourage and give hope to many women who, despite the crisis of the pandemic, and its worldwide impact on education, are still willing to improve themselves and ensure their right to education.

Hence, the importance of the renewal of the collaboration agreement between UNESCO Guatemala and the National Literacy Committee -CONALFA-, to strengthen and follow-up the learning and literacy activities throughout the country.

CONALFA has been an ally of the UNESCO Malala Centers in the municipalities of San Andrés Xecul and Santa María Chiquimula and has actively joined this phase through the participation of literacy workers and local staff. The women involved in the CONALFA literacy processes have confirmed their interest in joining the training workshops developed by UNESCO.


Illiteracy rate in Guatemala

In Guatemala, according to the 2018 national census, the illiteracy rate is 18.5%, equivalent to 2.3 million inhabitants who cannot read or write. Out of this figure, women represent 21.7%, making a total of 1,412,813 women without access to education. Despite the decrease of the literacy index in recent years, the involvement of all institutions to provide education of quality in the country is extremely necessary. CONALFA is one of the institutions working to address the educational needs of guatemalans.

As a response to the SDG 4, which seeks to “guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, and the target 4.6, which aims to ensure that by 2030, all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men, and women, achieve literacy and numeracy; CONALFA and UNESCO Guatemala are strengthening their alliance to promote literacy efforts at the national level. Mainly, in the municipalities where the UNESCO-Malala Centers operate, where, thanks to the efforts of promoters and literacy instructors, many girls, adolescents, and indigenous women of Totonicapán have gained access to education services.

Now, more than ever, education is needed for everyone. It is necessary to involve all parties to ensure that no one is left behind.