Saturday, February 12, 2011

Literacy campaign set to kick off nationwide today

The third phase of the National Literacy Campaign is all set to kick off on Sunday. Carried out by the Informal Education Centre (IEC) under Ministry of Education, the drive will be launched mainly in Tarai districts targeting illiterate people in the age group 15-60 years.This year, the campaign aims to make 612,920 people literate by enrolling them for 150 hours of informal class.

The IEC has set up 21,029 classes in 75 districts to carry out the campaign, for which the government has allocated Rs. 640

Amid criticism that the government has failed to meet the target and avoid duplicity of students, the ministry has collected data on illiterate people for the first time this year. Hundreds of schoolchildren were mobilised for the purpose.

“Budget misuse by showing fake students will end with the names and number of students,” said Babu Kaji Karki, deputy director of the Centre. “We are committed to meeting the target and reducing dropout rate this year.”

Stating that the campaign did not achieve the desired outcome without the involvement of local bodies, the centre has delegated authority to District Literacy Committee led by the Local Development Officer while District Education Officers lead the monitoring mechanism.

“The committee is authorised to set up learning centres and launch the campaign,” Karki added.

The government has also decided to add 12 days of vocational training to the course in order to attract more people and lower the dropouts.

According to IEC chief Balaram KC, vocational classes will be launched in 1,936 centres for 56,610 learners.

The campaign, rolled out in 2009 to meet the Millennium Development Goal of Education by 2015, has been highly
criticised for failing to prove its essence. The government has cut budget for the campaign by half this fiscal year.

Rs. 1.2 billion was earmarked for the drive in the fiscal year 2009-10. Against the target of 2.3 million in 2009 and 1.2 million in 2010, 1.8 and 1 million people, respectively, benefited from the campaign.

source:The Kathmandu post