Adult Literacy; Men Shunning Sessions

In Mzimba, more and more illiterate men are staying away from adult literacy centres established by various stakeholders to help increase literacy levels in Malawi.

Mzimba South Community Development Officer, Topsy Kachere, made the disclosure when DAPP teachers graduated 36 adult literacy learners of which only two were men.

The trend has sparked concern among authorities in the district.

Kachere said currently the district has 5,000 adult under literacy programs where only 800 are men.

Meanwhile DAPP teachers college intends to roll out English lessons for its graduates in adult literacy programs.

"The main challenge we are facing is men they are not patronising these programs maybe because of shyness or ignorance on the benefits of adult literacy lessons," said Kachere.

He urged traditional leaders to encourage their subjects especially men to join adult literacy programs as they have a bearing on development initiatives in their areas.

M'mbelwa district council official Elias Nyirenda observes that adult learning is crucial as it translates into having vibrant local development structures like area and village development committees.

“Government pours in a lot of resources in the education sector in the local government sector and these other sectors so for that money to bring in the desired development.

“We want it’s for the local people to take an active role in tracing how the money is being used,” said Nyirenda.

He said functional literacy centers plays a vital role in reducing illiteracy levels among communities and spur citizen participation in development interventions.

Meanwhile, DAPP teachers college has graduated over 150 adult learners and its acting Principal Dominic Nali says DAPP has plans to introduce English lessons.

“Adult literacy education also helps parents monitor the education of their children who are in nursery or primary schools,” said Nali.

One of the graduates Lincy Mkandawire did not hide her excitement saying she can now read and write as well as doing simple arithmetic.

DAPP teachers college introduced Adult Literacy education in 2013.

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