Founded in May 2012, the Adult Literacy Program caters to adults seeking the education they lack but so strongly crave. There are currently 26 registered learners, the majority of whom are women, ranging from 21 to 74 years old. The learners are divided into 2 classes - a Basic Literacy class for the nursery to class 4 grade levels and a Post Literacy Class for the class 7 and 8 grade levels. In 2014, the Post Literacy Class will work toward the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) exam. The Adult Literacy program aims to ensure that a positive impact will be felt among the illiterate groups in Maai Mahiu who are being marginalized.
Over 80 percent of youth in Maai Mahiu do not attend school past the 8th grade. Only 49% of secondary school aged youth attend secondary school and most adults have completed an average of 7 years of schooling. With high unemployment rates and an alarming number of female residents involved in the sex trade, the community of Maai Mahiu have little to inspire them to succeed. The positive reinforcement associated with personal success will lead to a general sense of empowerment for the whole community by not only raising literacy levels, but also raising individual self-esteem.
With so many looking to quench their thirst for education, this program is one of our most motivated endeavors. In addition to the high demand within the community, several nearby groups such as the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps and participants within our Grandparents Against Poverty and HIV/AIDS (GAPA) program, are requesting remote adult literacy classes as well. Here are interviews collected from 23 of our current Adult Literacy participants.
We are currently charging a very small monthly fee for 3 weekly classes, held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. However, due to the high demand we are looking to add morning classes. CTC staff member Ruth Mureithi is leading the program, overseeing 2 tutors who are both trained in adult education. The basic literacy class receives training in English, Kiswahili and Math, while post literacy students are trained in English, Kiswahili, Math, Social studies, and Science. We plan to offer future lessons on HIV/AIDS, micro-credit, budgeting, and more.
Study Buddy and Adult Literacy students can access and borrow textbooks from CTC’s informal library that is currently operating. We have also incorporated Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) training which includes Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills. DOT's program equips community participants with tools and capabilities that will help them advance their economic status by building successful, sustainable livelihoods. The program also emphasizes entrepreneurship, basic business concepts, self-esteem, advocacy, and recognition of existing opportunities that can lead to job creation.
We recently had 22 of the adult learners sit for the Provincial exams with 14 of them passing. These students will be awarded certificates from the Ministry of Education confirming this achievement. In the future, we envision an integrated approach including micro-financing, entrepreneurial skills, as well as gender and development awareness. By incorporating the partnership between local and international supporters, we hope to be able to include other core developmental aspects as well.