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EDUCATION FOR ALL IN THE CARIBBEAN: ASSESSMENT 2000 MONOGRAPH SERIES 24 - page 23 / 44

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combating of functional illiteracy by providing the necessary attention; the promotion of a healthy lifestyle; and the promotion of the social education of the community.

Literacy and Skills Training Programmes in the General Adult Population

The following programmes which target the problem of adult illiteracy are available in Curaçao:

  • The Pro Alfa Foundation, established since 1989, which targets individuals between the ages of 15 to 40 years. This Foundation initiates learning activities, in order to teach applicants to read, so that they can function more effectively in society. Much emphasis is placed on technical skills such as gardening, carpentry, mechanics, cooking, and tailoring.

  • FEFFIK (Foundation for Vocational Education), which is an educational organisation for non- formal vocational education. The objectives of this programme are to improve apprenticeship and on-the-job training; and to facilitate the overall improvement of vocational training offered to less fortunate adults.

  • Hope for the Unemployed, which is available to individuals who are already functionally literate but have not completed elementary education.

What this shows is that there are different programmes geared towards literacy and skills training in the general adult population, organised according to the specific needs of individuals in the adult population.

Literacy and Skills Training Programmes in the Prison Population

The only prison in the Netherlands Antilles is located in Curaçao and houses 479 inmates. To reduce overcrowding and promote rehabilitation, it is possible for time served by inmates to be reduced by 10% if they participate in education rehabilitation programmes available in the prison. The following are the literacy and skills training programmes offered in the prison:

  • Pro Alfa has been extended to the prison in order to assist illiterate inmates. They are taught to read and write so that they can be ready for introduction to basic education.

  • Hope for the Unemployed, the next step in the learning phase, where inmates are taught basic Mathematics, English, Dutch, Reading, and Writing skills. This is to prepare them for the next step, which is the vocational training skill.

  • FEFFIK is then introduced. Here, the inmate is involved in training to provide familiarity with the various industries: tourism, electronics, computer, automotive, metal, and construction.

The above programmes represent an organised programme geared towards the education of the inmates with life training, literacy, and vocational skills to assist in their rehabilitation and prepare them for their re-entry into society. It, therefore, appears that Curaçao is placing a great deal of emphasis on literacy and skills training in its prison system. What must be noted is that literacy and skills training are not taken as separate issues, but are being offered as part of a joint programme in the Curaçao prison system.

Programmes to Effect a Positive Approach Towards Health, Attitudes, and Values in the Prison Population

There are no records of any organised programmes in these areas available to the general adult population. In fact, the government is now planning to organise a national programme of this nature. In the island’s prison, the situation is different. There have been three major health and values programme:

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