An OPAWC representative participated in the First Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) Forum Meeting on 25th August 2015.
In this meeting high ranking members of the ministry of Education - Deputy for Literacy (DMoL) and many members of literacy institutions and supporters participated.
The Deputy for Literacy, H.E Muhammad Azim Karbalai, Presented updates on National Literacy/ Provincial Literacy and District Literacy Committees.
There were several discussions by UNESCO representatives and DMoL on the National Literacy Strategy Implementation Plan, also discussion on Compulsory Literacy for all, and discussion on planning for the celebration of International Literacy Day (ILD).
Short presentations were given by each literacy institution including OPAWC who talked about the latest achievement, which was appreciated by the audience.
OPAWC was critical of the presentation given by UNESCO and LIFE that suggested thousands of literacy courses around the country, including insecure provinces. OPAWC's objections, comments and suggestions met with opposition from the audience and UNESCO's representative at first, but at the end of the program, after a long discussion, everyone endorsed OPAWC's view personally, especially the Director of Education in the Interior Ministry, Gen. Kohdamani.
OPAWC was asked to contribute a theater team to play in the International Literacy Day but OPAWC refused.
OPAWC's comments and suggestion were:
- Celebration of International Literacy day (ILD) should be free of charge and convey a good message for illiterates to help them to struggle against the barriers.
- Promotion of Literacy should include the remote and insecure provinces and districts.
- Organizers should seek help from the religious scholars and elders of the community to support Literacy programs in their areas.
- The allocated money for the celebration of the function should be reduced to a minimum, and it should be used for purchasing stationary for literacy learners.
- Some salaries and other supports should be allocated for literacy teachers in the police Department.
- OPAWC stands firmly against the claims of and international organization for having hundreds of literacy course in insecure provinces and districts. OPAWC said: International organizations like UNESCO should give a realistic number for the provinces and districts that are out of government and police control and explain how these courses can work there, instead of giving high and unrealistic numbers of courses. Such claims just divert the attention of the Literacy Department from trying to establish literacy classes for those areas itself.