In Upper Volta, where only about ten per cent of school-age children are given education, a march was held through the streets of Ouagadougou last Friday (8 September) to mark Literacy Day.
GV EXT Band heads parade from Ministry of Education building
GV Women in parade carry banners (2 shots)
SV Women with Upper Volta banner
SV Women followed by children in parade (2 shots)
SV Students march with banner (2 shots)
SV INT Wall posters on Literacy Day (5 shots)
CU Drawings of people at work (2 shots)
GV Books and paintings on display
SV Women and children look at books and newspaper pictures (4 shots)
Initials BB/1550 DF/AW/BB/1606
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Background: In Upper Volta, where only about ten per cent of school-age children are given education, a march was held through the streets of Ouagadougou last Friday (8 September) to mark Literacy Day.
Education officials hoped the march would draw attention to the need for more people to become skilled in reading and writing in order to help develop the country.
French is the official language and there are three main native languages, with many dialects.
SYNOPSIS: A procession from the Ministry of Education building in Ouagadougou last Friday drew attention to the problem of illiteracy in the small West African country of Upper Volta. Women and children, some carrying banners, marched four kilometres through the streets of the capital to mark Literacy Day.
Education in Upper Volta is free, but it is not compulsory and only about ten per cent of school-age children attend classes.
Government ministers, teachers and other education people hoped the march on Literacy Day would point out the need for more people to learn to read and write in order to help develop the country.
The march ended at the offices of UNESCO--the United Nations Scientific Educational and Cultural Organisation, which aids the Upper Volta education programme.
Posters emphasising pictures rather than words are also used to get the message across. In 1969, Upper Volta had jus over the thousand public schools, but most are small and the average attendance was about ninety-five pupils. Ninety per cent of the school-age children in Upper Volta are not receiving education--leaving them unfit for jobs which require knowledge of the official language, French.
The problem is one faced by most developing nations in Africa where, on average, about seventy-five per cent of the adult population is unable to rad or write. UNESCO says the illiteracy rate in Africa poses a gigantic task and this United Nations agency is trying to persuade Governments to teach people what it calls basic literacy--sufficient knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic to help in daily life.