The Literacy and Non-formal Education Development in Afghanistan project (LAND AFGHAN) launched today with the signing of an agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Afghanistan in Kabul, aims to fill part of the education gap that resulted from the war.
The project's main focus will be on building up a nationwide network of literacy teachers, trained in modern non-formal education methods. It will also train people in the development and production of teaching materials and provide the necessary equipment for this, including printing facilities. A wealth of existing literacy resources, developed by the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre (ACCU) in Japan and UNESCO's Bangkok office, will be adapted and translated into the dominant Pashtu and Dari languages.
During the second phase of the project, community learning centres will be set up in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan's different regions to provide access to these literacy programmes for as many people as possible. Managers will be trained to run them. A special effort will be made to reach Afghan women and girls with the project, with the establishment of a Literacy Resource Centre for Girls and Women, sponsored by ACCU.
The project is initially financed by a US$500,000 contribution from the Japanese Government through a funds-in-trust. It is considered a flagship programme for the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012) which will be officially launched at UN Headquarters in New York on February 13.
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