Where to start for an Adult Literacy Program
The most important aspect of starting an adult literacy program is to support adults with low literacy rates to increase their self-esteem and help them to recognize what they can do and acknowledge improvements in their lives and skills, however small.
Starting an adult literacy program can be challenging, as adult literacy can be looked at in some different ways. To start an adult literacy program, all ways need to be considered, community needs to be decided and looked at all available resources.
Components of Adult Literacy
Reading: to be able to read fluently and confidently.
Writing: to write in a clear and accurate language.
Math: Ability to perform basic mathematics operations
English as a language: the command over basic skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking for those whom English is not a native language.
Uses of Literacy
Adults must be given three equally important reasons to pursue literacy program.
• To improve employment situation
• To become better parents
• To become better citizens
How to plan an adult literacy program?
For a literacy program to start, a community needs apparent, funding becomes available and organizations jumps into support and tackle the issue. The best scenario is to have an opportunity to do things in an idea way, a will to change to conform to the real needs and desires of learners and community and with experience of what works and what doesn’t.
Step 1: Assemble a planning team
• literacy organizations ( Literate Pakistan Foundation)
• the representative of community organizations ( Lions, Rotary, Pakistan youth forum)
• schools and other institutions ( The Citizens Foundation)
• business communities (National Foods, ICI Pakistan)
• the faith community (Eva Church)
• community representatives (Youth Point, Lyari Vocational Training Institute)
It helps to get accurate information about the community and creates community ownership of the program.
Step 2: Assess the Need
Once planning team is assembled, the next step is the observation of community to determine the nature of community’s most urgent literacy needs.
Step 3: Design a program to meet the demand
At this stage, four steps go into designing a program:
• Which program will be suitable according to time, resources and learners needs?
• What are the program’s assumptions?
• What will be the selection criteria for the teachers?
• What the program will actually look like?
Step 4: Effective Evaluation
The program’s efficiency cannot be measured without effective evaluation to adhere to the goal and philosophy; it started with. The areas worth evaluation are:
• Number of students recruited for the program
• Number of students retained attendance throughout the program
• Retention of students to achieve their educational goals
Adult education program doesn’t encompass only reading and writing; it’s important to understand the real need of literacy in a particular community or people.