Malawi: Adult Learning and Education becomes more relevant



Eight hundred million people in the world are illiterate, according to a new global report on adult learning and education. The report was published at the CONFINTEA conference in Brazil which is an international conference held by UNESCO every twelve years and focuses on adult learning and education. The report says that in Africa there are around 164 million people illiterate, thereof 102 million women.

ICEIDA supports adult education in three of its partner countries; Malawi, Uganda and Mozambique. “Here in Malawi, adult education has received low official budget,” says Jo Tore Berg, ICEIDAs project manager. “It’s becoming more promising, though, because the president of Malawi has said he wants to put more emphasis on adult education. Recently, for instance, the ministry of equality launched a campaign called “Mass Adult Literacy Project” and government employees who work with adult education here in Nankumba are attending an information workshop on the campaign this week.”

ICEIDA supports adult literacy in most of the villages in Nankumba which is a part of Mangochi district in the southern part of the country. According to Jo Tore, the district administration defines illiteracy as the third most important task in the district, after food security and access to good education. He says that the reading circles in Nankumba now count to 94, but all the adult education projects are cooperation projects between ICEIDA and the government of Malawi.

“There is a lot of interest in the community centre we have built in Monkey Bay, both within the district and within the ministry in Lilongwe,” says Jo Tore. “We are especially pleased because the National Library is going to establish and run a branch in the centre. That will be the first proper library in Monkey Bay and an important inspiration to maintain literacy. Recently, we also held a competition among instructors and learners of the reading circles on writing good stories. Many well written and entertaining stories were sent in and they are now being read and soon the best ones will be chosen. Then we will print the stories and distribute them in the book boxes that are available in every reading circle.”

Jo Tore says that there is a year left of the project. “Unfortunately we cannot do as much as we would have wanted to next year due to cutbacks at ICEIDA and we can’t do everything the PD stipulates,” he says.

Global Report on Adult Learning and Education - UNESCO


Executive Summary of the Report


Information on ICEIDAs projects in Malawi