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The Lewa Adult Literacy Programme

December 16, 2004 Sara Spendrup

The Lewa adult literacy Programme began in September of last year with the main aim of teaching the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy staff who was illiterate to know how read and write. The Programme has extended to the adjacent communities. There are two assistant adult literacy educators whom I conduct the classes with.

I have assigned them the classes that will need their respective mother tongue that is Kimeru and Maasai. Currently, there are three centers that have been established, these are: Matunda gate class, Lewa social hall class and the Leparua class. The content that is taught includes: reading and writing skills, Kiswahili ,English ,Kimeru, numeric skills , health and nutrition, basic hygiene skills, micro credit finance skills, agricultural skills, cookery and civil education.

The Matunda gate class comprises of more than 120 women who come from the adjacent areas like Subuiga , Ntugi ,Matunda and Ntumburi. The class has been divided into three groups that meet o­n three different week days, that is, o­n Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The students were categorized according to their educational background. The class attendance is regular with an average class population of 45 students per day. The students' age ranges from 16 years to 75 years old. The language of instruction is mainly Kimeru ,Kiswahili and English. Currently we have ceased enrolling new students until April due to big size of the class.

The Lewa social hall class has a low enrolment and attendance rate. Currently there are o­nly 18 students who are mainly the guards (both armed and unarmed) and the women who reside within Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The class attendance is irregular. This because the students have an irregular work schedule that would not allow them to remain a particular work station for long. Some work o­n different shifts, either at night or during the day. Some would also be o­n leave o­n different months of the year hence wont be able to attend to their classes. I am working an some modalities that would enable the students attend to their classes regularly am liaising with the department heads to create a sound work schedule for the concerned students.

The students are taught both in English and Kiswahili.
The Leparua class began in October last year after a feasibility study conducted by the education office. There was an overwhelming response by the local community. The enrolment rate is quite high within the three months the classes have been conducted. The class attendance is regular and presently there are 38 students whose age range from 15 to 38 years old. The classes are conducted o­n Saturdays from 9.00 a.m to 11.30 p.m except during the month of December last year when we conducted 2 lessons per week. We taught them o­n Thursdays and Saturdays. The students are taught in Maasai and Kiswahili.

The adult literacy educators use various teaching methods and techniques which includes: lecture method, demonstration method ,discussion method, resource persons and role playing. We have enough teaching resource materials such as text books, chalkboards, charts and journals and magazines.

Our mission is to offer a broad-based, multi-disciplinary adult literacy education with much emphasis o­n quality and student centered teaching within an interactive learning environment designed to stimulate the joy of enquiry.

Our vision is to see that the Programme benefits the whole community within and outside the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The staff of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy would be able to transact official matters that require reading and writing independently.

We intend to open new adult literacy classes at Manyangalo and Ngare Ndare area where we have established that the rate illiteracy among the adult is too high. We will start in the middle of February with Ngare Ndare Village.

Compiled by : Arnold Rapango, Adult Literacy Educator.