Adult Literacy

BRIEF SUMMARY

Key Benefits

What We Have Achieved

How We Work

The Project’s Future

What It Costs
By donating to this project, you will make a positive difference to people living with illiteracy.


FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT
Why Is It So Important?
RIPPLE Africa supports adult literacy in Malawi through the running of two adult literacy classes, one each in the villages of Mwaya and Mazembe.

RIPPLE Africa’s adult literacy project support includes:

All the students who attend the classes are members of the library and are able to borrow books to use each week to support their learning. There is a special section in the library dedicated to books for the adult literacy classes.

  • Phoebe, a RIPPLE Africa volunteer, teaching the Mwaya class
    Phoebe, a RIPPLE Africa volunteer, teaching the Mwaya class
  • Adults learning how to write letters Adults learning how to write letters
  • Keeping up to date with the national news
    Keeping up to date with the national news

Illiteracy is a problem throughout Africa, and Malawi is no exception where a lack of access to quality education, high student to teacher ratios, high primary school drop-out rates, and low secondary school enrolment all contribute to generally low literacy rates which mean many people struggle with basic day to day tasks.

According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (March 2016), 65.75% of the adult population (aged 15 years and above) in Malawi are able to read and write. For adult men, the literacy rate is 73% and for women it is 59%.

Literacy is generally worse amongst older adults than amongst younger people. The youth literacy rate (literacy amongst people age 15-24) in Malawi is 75%. While primary education has been free in Malawi since 1994, many adults who were school age before this period may never have attended primary school at all, and those who did attend may only have attended intermittently as and when their families could afford to pay the necessary school fees.

Literacy is critically important because being able to read and write makes a huge difference to doing many simple day to day activities. This is reflected in some of the reasons community members have given for joining the classes, including wanting:

  • Alamson, who is in charge of the Mazembe Adult Literacy class
    Alamson, who is in charge of the Mazembe Adult Literacy class
  • The Mwaya Adult Literacy class in the reading shelter at the Community Library The Mwaya Adult Literacy class in the reading shelter at the Community Library

What We Have Achieved

RIPPLE Africa’s adult literacy project is overseen by Burton Chirwa, our Chief Librarian, who also runs the Mwaya class. Alamson runs the class in Mazembe village. Each class caters for varying levels of ability, and they run twice a week in each village.

The students in the classes are all delighted with the progress that they have made since the project started, and there is a waiting list for places.

How We Work

Students are taught to read and write and are encouraged to read newspapers and books at the Community Library. They are also taught to write letters and to fill in forms by the two coordinators, Alamson and Barton.

The Project’s Future

We hope soon to double the number of classes offered in the adult literacy project.

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