Since the beginning of 2005, we are supporting adult literacy classes; to this end, one teacher per ward was initially trained, and suitable teaching materials were provided. Classes were held six days a week between 6.00am and 7.30am in the school buildings; 90% of the participants were women.
The literacy classes were initially well-attended, with 160 to 180 participants per year, who received a small premium at the end of a successfully completed course (after six months). At times the demand was so high that in three wards an additional teacher had to be employed. In the past years, however, the interest seems to have faded rapidly. In 2009, there were only 63 participants, and since 2010, there were so few that no course could be formed at all.
One explanation may be that the need is not given any longer, that those who were seeking after the basics of reading and writing have achieved their goal. Besides, there are more and more children who attend school regularly and who can help their parents decipher texts if need be. Another explanation that our local project coordinator has given may also be plausible: The daily workload is very high, and for many, an imminent benefit for their livelihood is not identifiable. Also, they lack opportunities to apply their newly acquired skills on a regular basis. Perhaps the communal library may offer the means to change those views, and provide new incentives.