Adult literacy programme wins global award
A Kigali Public Library staff (R) helps visitors to select books

Rwanda alongside Bhutan, Colombia and Indonesia won the 2012 International Literacy Prizes, according to statement released Tuesday by the UN agency.

The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova said: “The laureates will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 6 September, as part of the celebrations to mark the International Literacy Day that falls on 8 September.

The awards are worth $20,000 each.

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize goes to the National Adult Literacy Programme of the Pentecostal Church in Rwanda. The UN agency said that the programme was selected for its focus on women and out-of-school youth.

The programme, which targets over 100,000 people aims to ensure that individuals learn about human rights, reconciliation and peacebuilding through literacy.

Rwanda’s illiteracy rate has sharply been on the decline in recent years compared to the previous years, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Education. Literacy currently stands at 69.7 per cent up from 65.3 per cent in 2006.

Literacy among people between 15 to 24 age groups stands at 83.7 per cent.

Last year, 34,829 people benefited from basic literacy programmes including reading and arithmetic while this year the ministry’s target is to train over 30,000.

In 2011, over 5,000 literacy centres were set up across the country but the target is to open 8,600 of them with at least four of them in each cell.

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was created in 1989 by the South Korean Government.

Source: The New Times / Timothy Kisambira

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