KIGALI - Beneficiaries of the adult literacy programme eye bigger opportunities after learning how to read and write.
Speaking to The New Times, some of the adult students believe that the training is the beginning of a long journey into prosperity.
“I plan to go for vocational training after this,” said Rose Mukashyaka, 32 a trainee at Niboye ADEPR Church.
There are over 2, 000 adult learning centres around the country based at ADEPR churches. This church began the adult literacy programme in 1998.
Mukashyaka explains that failure to read and write was the obstacle in her dream of becoming a hair dresser. “I will enroll for a hair dressing course at the end of the year,” she said with a smile..
Theogene Hakuzwumuremyi, the national adult literacy coordinator explained that the training takes three semester of intensive instruction in two levels.
“We have the first level which caters for those who are completely green and the second level for those who know something,” he said.
The enthusiasm for aiming higher is also shared by Danny Dushime, who is in the second level.
“I can now read and write. By the time I finish I will be able to apply for a simple job like any other Rwandan,” said Dushime who enrolled for the programme last year.
The government, through the framework of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) set a target of having 85 percent of men and 80 percent of women literate by the end of this year.
If Rwanda achieves this, it would mean it surpasses the target, envisaged in the MDGs. The target is cutting the illiteracy rate by half in 2015.
Presently the illiteracy levels in the country stand at 25 percent and are most rampant in the rural areas, according to the Ministry of Education.
Hakuzwumuremyi said that 22, 195 adult students graduated last year. “We hope the numbers to increase this year.”
He, however, said that there is need for the local leaders to inform people who are unable to read and write to join in big numbers if the programme is to succeed.
The adult literacy programme is free and government helps the ADEPR church with scholastic materials.