600 thousand Namibians have so far enrolled and bene?ted from the Adult Education in the past 25 years as Namibia celebrates Adult Learners Week (ALW) under the national theme ‘Literacy in a digital world.’
The celebration of the week is signi?cant as it serves as a constant reminder of the need to increase efforts towards literacy the acting Director of Library and Archive services Elia Manga of the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture said at a recent launch of ‘READ NAMIBIA’ held in Windhoek. “The theme strongly calls for all non-formal and formal education providers to make the shift from passive technology use to the thoughtful application of technology to create new content and process information at higher levels. This week has become a signi?cant milestone in the calendar of the ministry,” he said. He added that this is because the MoEAC attaches great importance to functional literacy as much as it does to formal education because together the two educational systems are contributing to the creation of ef?cient human resources of the nation.
However, adult education system still has many challenges as reception rates remain high in all centres, repetition rates and dropout rates amongst adult learners are higher among disadvantaged and more marginalised communities. Manga reiterated that there is a need for the nation to instil the love of reading at an early age and stress that libraries are destinations for learning and adventure with many treasures waiting for discovery.
“We are fortunate to live in a community that takes to heart both messages. This is evident through the various partnerships the MoEAC has with different stakeholders from READ NAMIBIA COALITION for the sole purpose of fostering a reading culture in our nation,” Manga said. He further added that statistically, Namibia’s reading levels are lagging behind according to the research done by Kaokonya and Kutondukoa in 2005.
According to the research, 50 percent of Namibian homes they have visited had no books or printed material of any sort, 6 percent of the homes had a newspaper, and only 2 percent had story books or children’s books. The Director of Lifelong Learning and Community Development, Steve Kaangunde of the MoEAC stated that the central objective of this campaign is to support a culture of reading among learners and community members, skills transfer regarding training, provide resources and other volunteering services “Reading to learn has been at the forefront of the curriculum in Namibia.
Through various modes of support, students have been encouraged to read across the curriculum to enhance their interest in reading as well as their trilingual abilities,” he said. He added that more reading would make Namibians con?dent in contributing to the social development and READ NAMIBIA is dedicated to encouraging all Namibians, young and old to embrace the love of reading. For the whole month of September, READ NAMIBIA has organised activities in which all Namibians that are based in Windhoek can keep busy with reading.