Adult Literacy Classes
Gaining literacy is an important step to financial independence and the ability to participate in community decision-making. We train local people as facilitators to teach functional literacy, an approach that teaches literacy for everyday life. Upon completion of these non-formal education classes, participants can read well enough to function in a complex society. Classes include reading materials that relate directly to community development and teach applicable life skills. Participants also learn basic numeracy, including the ability to use a calculator. This skill is an important step toward being able to manage finances and participate in livelihoods and community development activities. Our classes begin in the language that participants speak most comfortably, allowing them to gain literacy skills before transitioning to the Nepali language. After finishing classes, new readers have access to a library of reading materials stored in the same Community Learning Centres where classes and group meetings are held.
Literacy classes have positive effects beyond teaching participants how to read and write. Classes give participants an opportunity to discuss issues important to their lives and share successful practices with fellow participants. Class reading materials are about topics relevant to their lives, such as health and agricultural practices. The groups formed in classes may be the basis of a community feeling that enables formerly voiceless members of the community to make their opinions and views heard. Some groups that grew out of literacy classes have gone on to become registered cooperatives. In addition, literate parents will be better able to help their school-age children, whose classes we support through multilingual education in primary schools.