Adult Learners' Week launched in the capital

02 Sep 2013 08:00
WINDHOEK, 02 SEP (NAMPA) – Education Minister David Namwandi has called on all Namibians to ‘commit and rededicate’ themselves to education for all citizens.
He was speaking at the launch of Adult Learners’ Week here on Monday.
The aim of Adult Learners’ Week (ALW) – which starts on 02 September and ends on 08 September this year – is aimed to share other countries’ experiences with adult learners, and to amplify the cooperation between agencies active in the promotion of adult learning at international level.
“This is a week for all 14 regions of Namibia to rejoice in our modest success in reading, writing and counting.
It is a week to rekindle our passion and enthusiasm, to inflame our learning throughout life. It is a week to pause, to reflect and re-commit ourselves to education for all,” he noted.
According to Namwandi, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has awarded the Unesco Confucius Prize for Literacy to the Namibia National Literacy Programme.
This programme will receive a diploma, silver medal and US.dollars 20 000 (about N.dollars 204 000) during the awards’ ceremony of the Unesco International Literacy Prizes.
The awards’ ceremony will be held at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France on 09 September this year during International Literacy Day celebrations.
International Literacy Day is observed on 08 September, which this year falls on a Sunday.
The national literacy programme was officially launched in September 1992, two years after Namibia gained its independence. The programme was built on a long tradition of literacy and adult education, dating back to the early activities of missionaries, and on the literacy campaign of the Swapo-Party and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN).
Namwandi said according to the 2011 Population and Housing Census, literacy rates in Namibia stand at 89 per cent, with male literacy rates at 89 per cent and female literacy at 88,5 per cent.
“This is no mean achievement, despite the fact that we have not met the constitutional directives that we have set for ourselves,” he added.
A total of 491 family literacy centres have been established in rural schools across Namibia to assist parents and caregivers of Grade 1 learners.
To sustain literacy skills and to provide for learning throughout life, 14 Community Learning and Development Centres have also been established throughout the regions, and all centres have Internet connectivity.
“Education brings sustainability to all development goals, and literacy is the foundation of all learning. It provides individuals with the skills to understand the world and shape it, to participate in democratic processes and have a voice, and also to strengthen cultural diversity,” the minister stated.
Namwandi stressed that literacy is a fundamental human right, and the foundation for lifelong learning.
“For individuals, families and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one's health, one's income and one's relationship with the world.
“Namibia should continue investing hugely in its main assets - its people - by investing massively in education. Not investing properly in education now would mean making the blunder of our life. Literacy is a liberator, and an empowering force,” he said.