Monday, 20 April 2009
Over 160 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unable to read and write. Of these, over 60 percent are women. Some 75 million African children do not go to school. Fifty-five percent of them are girls.
Poverty, infant and maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS are just some of the challenges facing girls and women in the region, challenges that are aggravated for those who are uneducated.
To address the exclusion and precariousness faced by those who cannot read and write, both female and male, the Global Campaign for Education is focusing its 2009 Global Action Week on Education (GAW) on literacy. This year’s campaign is expected to bring together 10 million people around the world to demand urgent action to tackle illiteracy. Leading world figures and local communities alike will read publicly from The Big Read, a book of short stories on education, while stakeholders including Ministries of Education, NGOs, institutions of learning and local communities will organise activities to raise awareness and influence targeted action.
FAWE National Chapters are taking part in the following activities:
FAWE Burundi, in association with the Ministry responsible for education, is focusing on the theme of lifelong learning for adults and youth. Activities will include sensitisation workshops on literacy targeting community leaders, discussion sessions and a media workshop.
FAWE Comoros is holding a series of sensitisation events in various ‘Friends of FAWECOM’ village schools on human rights with particular focus on children’s rights. The Chapter is also planning a number of television and radio debates.
FAWE Senegal National Chapter will take part in the major Big Read event at national level as well as regional reading events in Kaolack and Saint Louis regions. FAWE Senegal will also participate in a forum on literacy bringing together a variety of education stakeholders at Cheikh Anta Diop University’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Education and Training.
FAWE Sierra Leone, as a member of the Sierra Leone Education for All Coalition, is participating in a extensive campaign that includes press, radio and television debates involving the Ministry of Education, partners in adult education and adult literacy centres; The Big Read activities bringing together the Minister of Education, literacy providers, learners from both formal and non-formal education, and education activists. Events will include testimonies from adult learners, film presentations, and a presentation of findings from a study on Sierra Leone’s progress towards EFA, with special emphasis on literacy.
FAWE Tanzania National Chapter is working together with the Tanzania Education Network (TEN), the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT) and other education actors to coordinate GAW activities. As one of the GAW committee members, FAWE Tanzania’s role is to prepare drama groups from various schools to perform during the event. The Chapter has also prepared a book for The Big Read event containing short stories from renowned Tanzanian and African writers on adult education.
FAWE Zanzibar has taken part in an evaluation organized by the Ministry of Education of activities geared towards EFA from 2006 to 2008.
Due to political tension in the country, the Madagascar Education for All Coalition, of which FAWE Madagascar is a member, has decided to postpone Global Action Week to the week of 8 to 15 June 2009.
Please visit www.fawe.org for regular news updates.