Education plays an important role in ensuring equality by giving everyone not only the same opportunity and status but also confidence and self-esteem. However, the education for all (EFA) has not, unfortunately, reached all categories of people; the elderly in most cases missed out.
The missed education opportunity for the elderly has pushed Global Civic Sharing (GCS) – a South Korean not-for-profit organization operating in Nyarubaka sector, Kamonyi district, Southern province to support the adult literacy programs with the latest graduation held on 30 November 2020.
“Education for all is important not only for young people but also for adults that missed out. Adult literacy training is one of the areas that we support and has been done annually. We want adults to have basic skills in reading and counting because it will help them in their daily activities,” Aimable Twagirayezu – GCS Project Manager said.
The adult literacy training that normally takes seven months started with the intake of 200 elders in September. The trainees were put into two levels including beginners and intermediate categories.
The beginners’ category contains adults that have never attended school while the intermediate level includes Primary school dropouts.
“I grew up in an era where our parents had not much interest in education. My late father told me to graze cows, instead of taking me to school. It is really shameful for an adult to fail reading and counting their own money,” 60-year-old, Peresia Mukakayibanda said.
After the training, Mukakayibanda is able to read and to count.
In Rwanda, adult literacy increased to 73.2 % in 2018 from 38.2 % in 1978 to 73.2 %, which is a 12.62% annual growth rate.
Adult literacy training is one of the drivers expected to help the country achieve the knowledge-based economy status.
According to GCS Rwanda, litteacy candidates came from different ages with the youngest being 20 years old and the oldest 60.
Twagirayezu said that from 2015, Global Civic Sharing Rwanda has been conducting adult literacy through self-reliance programs for vulnerable people based on civil empowerment in Rwanda to ensure that Nyarubaka residents upgrade Kinyarwanda and numeracy skills especially those who didn’t attend formal education.
“Throughout the second phase (2018-2020), GCS managed to carry out Adult Literacy in full respect of COVID-19 measures. We have decreased the number of beneficiaries to 200 and changed our implementation methodology. We have trained them on a door to door basis,” Twagirayezu said.
The project implementation was possible courtesy of stakeholders including facilitators, local government officials, among others.