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National Women Council to introduce mother tongue literacy programme

Date: September 19, 2013
Persona: Citizen; Government

GIS - 19 September, 2013:  The Adult Literacy Unit of the National Women’s Council, operating under the aegis of the ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, will soon introduce a new module in the Adult Literacy Programme: the learning of Mauritian Kreol. This new module will not only facilitate the learning of other languages, namely English and French, but will also increase confidence of women and instil in them a sense of pride for the use of one’s mother tongue.
The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs. Mireille Martin, made the announcement today to some 200 trainees enrolled on the Adult Literacy Programme, gathered at the S.S.R. Botanic Garden in Pamplemousses in the context of the celebration to mark the International Day of Literacy 2013. The objective of the event is to introduce them to a different learning approach through recreational and educational activities on the garden’s history as well as its particular features namely its fauna and flora.
The Minister stated that literacy is not solely about reading, writing and numeracy but is also about broadening one’s skills, competence and knowledge to achieve self-development and adapt to an ever-changing world. According to Mrs Martin, in that perspective and since its inception in 1986, the Adult Literacy Programme run by the National Women Council has innovated towards an integrated programme which includes Basic literacy, Entrepreneurship literacy – learning of basic accounting, Computer literacy - the ability to use a computer and software, and Legal Literacy –a module on Women’s Rights.
Highlighting the various measures taken by Government to improve access to education such as free education and free transport, Mrs Martin said that there has been an encouraging trend in women's education which has lead to improved confidence and increased participation and contribution of women to households and to the social and economic progress of the country. However, she added, the illiteracy rate for women in Mauritius, that is the percentage of women who still lack basic reading and writing skills, stands at 12.7%. To address the problem, the Minister spoke of the mobile caravan project, to be launched next year, and which will endeavour to reach to those women who are not able to avail themselves of the free opportunities provided by her ministry to improve their basic and functional literacy skills.
The International Day of Literacy was proclaimed by UNESCO on 8 September 1965 to remind the international community that literacy is a human right, the foundation of all learning, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. The theme chosen by UNESCO this year is Literacies for the 21st century to highlight the need to realise “basic literacy skills for all” as well as equip everyone with more advanced literacy skills as part of lifelong learning.
In Mauritius, to mark the event, the National Women Council brought together some 200 trainees enrolled on the Adult Literacy Programme in the informal and pleasant setting of SSR Botanic Garden to
It is to be noted that the objective of the Adult Literacy Programme run by the National Women Council is to equip women, aged 16 to 80 who have never been to school or who have not reached reading readiness though they have been to primary school, with basic reading, writing and numeracy skills required in bid to encourage self-development, increase autonomy and lead more independent lives. The programme is dispensed in 40 Women Centres, Social Welfare Centres, Community Centres and Socio-cultural Centres. So far, more than 10, 000 trainees have followed the 88 hours programme.

 Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: Website:


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