Kaliati wants more men in adult classes

Rumphi, September 9, Mana: Minister of Gender, Community Services and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has bemoaned lack of interest in adult classes by men in the country a situation she described as not conducive to building a literate nation.

Kaliati made the remarks at Rumphi Stadium, in Rumphi on Wednesday when she presided over Inter1 Literacy Day commemoration.

She said while the country is generally doing well in enhancing literacy in the country, it is sad to see a small number of men participating in adult literacy classes.

“We are performing well. We have 800 classes for Chichewa and 1, 643 for English. We have five million people who are not literate, but still we are moving forward. We are incorporating all those who are under cash transfer. We are working very hard not to leave anyone behind since we only remain with nine years to 2030.

Kaliati: more men should be enrolling for adult classes

“The only challenge is that men are failing to swallow their pride and join adult literacy classes, but we will continue persuading them to come forward. It’s a shame to see men use a thumb as signature because they cannot read or write.  They really need to come forward and if they don’t want group classes they can always ask someone to support them at their homes so that we have more people who are able to read, write and count,” she said.

She further said that in spite of funding challenges organizations such as Save the Children, UNESCO and World Vision among others are doing a commendable job in supporting government efforts in adult literacy programs.

In addition, the Minister also handed over certificates to 10 graduates of adult literacy programs. 

Malawi Commission for UNESCO representative, David Mulera was happy to see the number of literate people in the country increase from 10 percent in 1979 to around 65 percent in 2019 according to UNESCOs research findings.

However, he said, the number of people who are still illiterate in the country amounting to five million is still worrying saying there is need to attract more adults to enroll for adult literacy programs especially men who seem to have little interest in the program.

This year’s Inter1 Literacy Day in Malawi was Commemorated under the theme ‘the Right to Literacy in times of Covid-19, the contribution of digital literacy and distance learning programs.