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Adult literacy least funded in Africa

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Germany Ambassador to Malawi, Jürgen Borsch, has said adult literacy remains the least funded sub-sector in Africa’s education system.

Borsch was speaking in Lilongwe during the opening of International Conference on Building Adult Education Systems in Africa.

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The conference has attracted delegates from across Africa.

The ambassador said access to initial education and its quality in countries such as Malawi is limited; hence, the need for improvement in these areas.

It is estimated that 73 percent of Malawians aged 15 are able to read and write a simple statement on their everyday life.

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Borsch said investing in literacy is a better investment as it is key to development.

“Learning is a lifelong process and being provided with opportunities to do so is essential for the development of individuals and for the development of the whole nation. It is even important in our modern, knowledge-based society,” he said.

He said it is interesting that most Malawians are eager to learn and develop their skills so as to improve their lives, hence, more funding is needed.

Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Grace Chiumia, said although illiteracy rates in Malawi and the African region are the highest in the world, there was need for governments and donors to step up literacy and education efforts.

“Malawi government will continue increasing investment in adult education sector, in recognition of the key role which adult education plays in national development,” she said.

She, however, expressed worry that 73 percent of adult men cannot read and write when compared to 59 percent of women who can read and write, representing 59 percent.

DVV Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association Deutscher Volkshochschul – Verband has organised the conference which is focusing on the role of adult education in development.

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