Sierra Leone is one of the countries with the highest illiteracy rates in the world. The New Education Policy for Sierra Leone maintains that 69.3 percent of the male population is illiterate, while 80.0 percent of the female population is illiterate. Part of the function of the National Commission for Basic Education is to coordinate adult and nonformal education. "A significant percentage of 6- to 16-year-olds are not attending school and there is a high rate of school dropouts. With a population growth rate of approximately 2.6 percent a year, the literacy rate cannot improve significantly without a massive and urgent intervention by the government" (New Education Policy). The nonformal component of the new system aims at accelerating adult literacy.
The Department of Education, the Basic Education Commission, and the Adult Education Committee will work together to implement a language policy to facilitate the use of English and indigenous languages in literacy and nonformal education classes. These bodies, among other things, will also ensure that by the year 2020, animation centers/community education centers are established in every district and attached to all teacher training colleges. The new system also envisages a situation whereby the enrollment and retention of female students will be encouraged by making their primary education free and compulsory, as well as making it possible for young mothers to be re-admitted into the formal system of education. The National Education Action Plan (NEAP) clearly specifies that in nonformal and adult education, the focus is on women and girls with particular attention to rural folk, street children, the disabled, and the disadvantaged. A Materials Development Department is in place to provide materials for literacy classes.
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceSierra Leone - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education