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LITERACY & THE FUTURE

The Education for All report advocates a three-pronged strategy to acquire literacy:

  1. Quality schooling for all children
  2. Scaling up literacy programmes for youth and adults
  3. Development of environments conducive to the meaningful use of literacy.

In Africa, various representatives from South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria, worked on the Millennium African Renaissance Programme (MARP) to ensure that the future of African development is designed by Africans. The G8 Summit meeting in Genoa, Italy in 2001, endorsed the African recovery plan. The MARP accepts the need for good governance, political stability, democracy and human rights. Particularly, the action plan includes:

  1. Strengthening mechanisms for preventing and coping with conflicts
  2. Promoting democracy, human rights, participation, and good governance
  3. Strengthening education and public health services, particularly with regard to HIV/AIDS
  4. Ensuring macro-economic stability
  5. Introducing transparent legal frameworks for finance markets
  6. Developing agriculture, especially with regard to processing
  7. Promoting human resources and infrastructures

Literacy, in today’s culture, is the only door to all other forms of education. It is a connection with the past and a bridge to the future. Ironically, to save unwritten mother-tongue languages, they must be committed to writing, and oral heritage and indigenous knowledge must be coded in writing to renew and preserve it. Literacy obviously connects us with our futures.

Education – formal primary, secondary, vocational, and higher – is impossible without first acquiring basic literacy. Nor is it possible, without literacy, to teach knowledge, attitudes and skills that are subsumed under non-formal education. Functional literacy (with its focus typically on economic functions), civic literacy (with its interest in political education), adult basic education and training as well as adult continuing education, all must teach literacy to make their pupils, self-learning, independent students.

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