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Libya - Nonformal Education

programs percent illiteracy skills


Adult Education: Libya confronts colonial neglect when it attacks adult education and tries to remedy past abuses. In 1973, 51 percent of the population was illiterate. By 1980, this had fallen to 47.1 percent or 765,000 people, of whom 253,000 or 28.5 percent were male, and 512,000 or 69.4 percent were female. In 2000, this number declined to 20.2 percent, of whom 9.1 percent were male, and 32.4 percent were female (UNESCO). A variety of successful programs have been directed at illiteracy, and as the numbers show, progress has been made.

There are centers for literacy training in each district. Baladiya or centers for literacy training often have vocational and technical programs attached to functional literacy programs. About 7,000 students per year benefit from these programs. The Secretariat of Labor also runs other programs to help upgrade workers. The Secretariats of Commerce and Electricity run programs to upgrade skills in road maintenance, construction, airport management, telecommunications, and public transportation. The Secretariat of Agriculture trains 700 students per year in tractor operation and management, farm machinery, tool use, and maintenance. Worker development programs help the government impart skills and attack illiteracy simultaneously. Government employees are given full pay and release time to encourage personal growth. Programs vary in intensity and last from one month to four years in duration, depending on the goal of the program. The government's goal is to have each worker reach a fourth grade level in reading and math, as well as to develop specific job related skills. Despite great strides, illiteracy is still considered a major problem in Libyan society. Because of the demand for skilled labor, there is great competition for graduates of each program.


Distance Education: Barnamaj Nahw al-Nur and similar television programs attack adult illiteracy by providing the basics of reading and mathematics to adults in a creative and inviting manner. Through such programs remote populations can be reached, which might otherwise be neglected, but the cost per student is very high.

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