In Ethiopia the government of Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam is taking advantage of the rainy season to launch a literacy campaign.
In Ethiopia the government of Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam is taking advantage of the rainy season to launch a literacy campaign. Schools are out for the season, which lasts from June through to the end of August, and teachers are free to move around teaching people who don't normally have the chance to attend classes.
SYNOPSIS: The campaign aims to teach reading and writing to people in villages, or kebeles, such as this one near Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia, with a population of more than 26 million people, has a literacy rate of ten percent. This is a slight improvement since the Provisional Military Administrative Council took ??? in 1975, and nationalised educational institutes.
The campaign is being carried out by the Central Literacy Co-ordinating Committee, set up by the education authorities this year. Qualified teachers as well as older high school students have been co-opted to take the summer literacy classes.
For some it is their first experience of a formal classroom situation.
Ethiopia's Minister of Education, Lieutenant-Colonel Goshu Wolde, said the literacy programme will be carried out in two parts. He said this year's summer programme was a short-term scheme to high-light the necessity of wiping out illiteracy, and there would be a long-term programme implemented progressively along with the economic and cultural construction of the country.
Colonel Goshu said it is hoped that nearly two million people can be put on the road of literacy through the summer campaign. Speaking at a ceremony held to launch the programme he called on Ethiopians to seize what he called a 'milestone' in the struggle to liberate themselves from illiteracy.