Turkana is the second largest county by land mass in Kenya and is considered one of the poorest with 88% of the people living below the poverty line compared with 45% nationally. Illiteracy levels are high with only half of the school going children being enrolled nationally below the national average of 95% report, 2018 by Charity Save the Children. The adult literacy rate in the county is at 20%.
In an effort to address the illiteracy issue among the Turkana women in this community, Bible Society of Kenya held an empowerment workshop for literacy teachers in Lodwar so that they may conduct trainings in Turkana County.
The workshop was attended by literacy teachers together with their assistants. These teachers will ultimately teach adult learners in the marginalized areas among the turkana community. The twelve days intensive training was done in partnership with Summer Institute of Linguistics consultants who played a crucial role in developing the turkana learning materials as well as conducting the teachers training. Mr. Bernard Oketch, a government official from the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education Turkana County was present and he addressed the characteristics of an adult teacher.
The intensive training tackled different areas of learning that will enable adult learners know how to read and write in their mother tongue and ultimately understand Scriptures in the ngaturkana Language.
The teachers were equipped with knowledge and skills on how help the learners use the ngaturkana learner’s primer, pronounce syllables, read stories and comprehend the same. Further training included teaching adult learners to apply life-skills, conduct income generating activities, nutritional enhancement, proper hygiene standards, and environmental conservation that will help improve their lives.
This project targets vulnerable women who are mostly young school drop outs and adult mothers. We trust that it will bring positive transformation in the women’s lives, help them to make informed decisions and choices, reduce gender misrepresentation in leadership roles and reduce 10% of infant mortality rates among children below 5 years.
The introduction of 10 pilot literacy classes will help the government reduce the gap of illiteracy among adults hence propel the goal of availing basic literacy to all.
The training culminated in all the participants being commissioned to teach adult learners. They were equipped with teaching materials including primers, alphabet charts, teachers guides and blackboards.
Bible Society of Kenya thanks her donor the Finnish Bible Society for enabling women in Africa to attain literacy skills.