Plan project fights adult illiteracy in Guinea-Bissau
In Guinea-Bissau, women contribute greatly to the national economy with more than 76% working in the agriculture sector. But many of them are illiterate and this limits their ability to communicate with the external world and fully participate in the development of their communities.
To help them fulfill their responsibilities as mothers and citizens, Plan Guinea-Bissau – in partnership with the Ministry of Education – implemented the ALFA-TV, a television based adult literacy program with focus on young women.
ALFA-TV is a simple adult literacy program that uses visual cues – a television and video cassette reader – to teach women how to read and write. The video cassettes contain lessons on basic reading and writing, with content that is geared towards adults that have never been to school before. The program aims to provide women with the basic literacy and numeric skills they need to participate actively in the local governance and take care of their family lives.
ALFA-TV started in 2006, when Plan Guinea-Bissau, in partnership with the Department of Adult Literacy and the Cuban Embassy, implemented the project in two communities of the Bafata region: Medina Sara and Priam, located in north-central Guinea-Bissau.
Plan funded the installation of the literacy centers and trained teachers (local community teachers). Now, the Department of Adult Literacy and a Cuban technical team carry out monthly follow-up visits to the centers to monitor the quality of teaching and the progress of participating women.
Bringing positive results
Since the project implementation in 2007, 730 adults in 11 community centers in the region of Bafata became literate – 75% of them are women.
Due to the success of the adult literacy project in the communities of Medina Sara and Priam, the program has now been scaled up by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF with support from the Japanese government; fifty new centers have been opened since 2007.
"The new centers will train 6 thousand adults and will contribute to the rapid and effective learning, opening new horizons and making these people more independent and proactive in the society," said Dr. Arthur Silva, the Minister of Education.
"In Guinea-Bissau, 50% of the population is illiterate, but by replicating the Plan/ALFA-TV experience of Medina Sara and Priam to the rest of the country, we will be able to achieve the Millennium Goal for Education by 2015.”
Read more about Plan's work in Guinea-Bissau.