In an effort to increase the current statistics of literate adults, Rwanda’s Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) is targeting to establish 8,600 adult learning centers around the country by 2015, a move that will see each of the country’s 2,148 cells having at least four learning facilities.
“We intend to teach adults reading, writing and counting, across the country,” said Espérance Muziganyi, the official in charge of adult learning at MINEDUC.
According to Muziganyi, Rwanda currently boasts of 5,017 learning facilities for adult education – slightly over two learning facilities in every cell. And over 70 percent of all Rwandans now know how to read and write.
Together with partners, MINEDUC spends an estimated annual budget of Rwf 500,000,000 (about $735,294) on adult education.
This year, it’s expected that thousands of high school students on vacation, will be volunteering with the education of the old people. After receiving refresher training, they will be dispatched to different schools across the country.
And some churches have been also helping with teaching the old people.
According to Jean Paul Seneza, Secretary in the Pentecost Church of Rwanda, his church has been teaching old people how to read, write since 1999. The church now has 2,835 learning facilities, which supplement the government-owned ones.
But there are challenges still. 35-year-old Bernard Twiringiyimana says some illiterate people still don’t have the courage to go to school to learn how to read, write and count because of an apparent illiteracy stigma.