UNESCO has given $200,000 to Rwanda for Adult Literacy as Reward

Rwanda has been awarded with $200, 000 for their efforts in promoting adult literacy. The award was given to Rwanda by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Bhutan, Colombia and Indonesia also got a similar award, under the 2012 International Literacy Prizes (King Sejong Literacy Prize). According to Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova, National Adult Literacy Programme of the Pentecostal Church in Rwanda won for its focus on women and youth school drop-outs. The winning countries will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 6 September, as part of the celebrations to mark the International Literacy Day that falls on 8 September.

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National Adult Literacy Programme

The programme targets 100,000 people and aims to ensure that individuals learn about human rights, reconciliation and peace building through literacy.Rwanda's illiteracy rate has sharply been on the decline in recent years compared to the previous years, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Education. Literacy currently stands at 69.7 per cent up from 65.3 per cent in 2006.

In 2010, the Ministry of Education kick-started an adult literacy programme under which an estimated 162,000 benefiting.In speeding up the programme, the ministry used Senior Six leavers to help teach adults in their respective communities.

Over 8,600 youths were trained and equipped with all the necessary teaching materials to offer this service on voluntary basis.Statistics from the Education Ministry indicate that the rate of illiteracy, which is mainly rampant in rural communities, currently stands at 25 percent.

The government, through the framework of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) has set a target of having 85 percent of men and 80 percent of women literate by 2011.

Achieving this would mean that Rwanda would have surpassed the target envisaged in the MDGs of cutting the illiteracy rate by half by 2015. Literacy among people between 15 to 24 age groups stands at 83.7 per cent.

In 2011, over 5,000 literacy centres were set up across the country but the target is to open 8,600 of them with at least four of them in each cell. The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was created in 1989 by the South Korean Government.

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