Friday, September 2, 2011

Learning to Read for a Better Future

September 1st marked the opening of the International Literacy and Learning Week in Angola's capital, Luanda.  The meeting, focusing on "Literacy and peace, fights hunger and poverty" aims at exchanging experience between linguists of national vernacular languages. According to Angola National Director of Education of Adults, Guiherme Tuluca, " National language literacy helps fight hunger and poverty as it opens horizons for the population to change habits with a view to better build a domestic economy with qualified staff and workers."

Being a former Portuguese colony, Angola predominately speaks the Portuguese language.  Of 42 individual languages in Angola, there are six national or official languages: Portuguese, Kikongo, Kimbumdu, Mbundu, Chokwe and Oshiwambo. The literacy rate among Angolan males is 82.1% while only 53.8% of Angola females are literate. A high rate of Angolan illiteracy occurs in the predominately rural, remote areas where girls drop out of school at higher rates than boys and thus have a very low exposure to primary education.

Angola National Director of Education of Adults, Guiherme Tuluca adds in relation to building a better economy through literacy, "A trained peasant better analyzes the fertilizers and land information and produce markets.  An improvement in a farmer's own harvests helps boost the family's economy.  Tuluca urged the need for the rural population to benefit from the program. (Angop, Save the Children)

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