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New Education Program for Liberian Women

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Liberia’s new education program is giving women in midlife second chance to be literate, the Voice of America reported last month. According to the article, only 27 percent of Liberian women are literate either because they never attended school or were forced to drop out due to a decade of social instability in the country.The government’s new literacy program gives hope to women in their 30s, 40s and 50s and encourages them that regardless of their age, they can still learn how to read and write.

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New Education Program for Liberian Women

  1. 1. Liberia’s New Education Program New Education Program for Liberian Women humphreykariukindegwa.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/new-education-program-for-liberian-women/ Liberia’s new education program is giving women in midlife second chance to be literate, the Voice of America reported last month. According to the article, only 27 percent of Liberian women are literate either because they never attended school or were forced to drop out due to a decade of social instability in the country.The government’s new literacy program gives hope to women in their 30s, 40s and 50s and encourages them that regardless of their age, they can still learn how to read and write. Pauline Rose, the head of UNESCO’s global monitoring report on Education for All, explained how being illiterate is difficult for women in their everyday lives. In her example, she mentioned that some are not able to read the number on buses, while others can neither decipher which medicine to pick nor read the label for the medicine’s dosage.“So there are real practical concerns about when women are illiterate… It affects not only themselves but also their families. They are often the main caregivers for children. And when women are illiterate, they are less like to make use of health services,” Rose said. Based on UNESCO’s demographics, more than two-thirds of all illiterate adults in the world are women and currently estimated at 516 million. Majority of them come from West Africa where many girls cannot go to school. Nonetheless, so much improvement has been accomplished over the years as many countries in Africa have raised their literacy rates through government efforts to enroll more girls in primary school and community awareness programs on the value of female education. Such has been done in Senegal. However, many countries remain marginalized in terms of educating their women, such as in Guinea, Niger, Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso, among others, where the ratio of literate versus illiterate women is less than one out of four.For this, Rose suggests more education programs to be implemented in these countries not just for young girls, but also for second-chance students who are adults already. As she put it, “in terms of this huge number of young women and adults who are already illiterate, there is obviously a need to have second-chance programs to ensure that they are able to become literate. That we can’t neglect them, just because they are no longer of primary school age.” Meanwhile, Liberia’s Ministry of Education proudly declares that approximately 5,000 women are presently enrolled in the adult literacy programs that the government is sponsoring.One of which is Lonee Smith, 35 years old, and a student at the Firestone Liberia Natural Rubber Company’s adult literacy school in Margibi County. According to her, being given another chance to be educated is life-changing. Further, she says, “today, I am a happy woman. I’m very proud. I’m in the first grade. I can read and write… In the past, I couldn’t do that. My parents never sent me to school. Now, I can sell my goods and count my profit with no one helping me.” Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa is an African business tycoon mainly based in Kenya. He owns and runs Dalbit International, a leading petroleum supplier in the East African region.

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