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EDUCATION FOR ALL IN THE CARIBBEAN: ASSESSMENT 2000 MONOGRAPH SERIES 24 - page 30 / 44

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Literacy Programmes in the General Adult Population

There were a number of strategies used to address the problem of adult illiteracy, namely:

  • Expansion of the general adult education programme (16 years and over) – The number of Adult Education Centres has been increased to 46, with an enrolment of 9,961 participants, 40 supervisors, and over 300 tutors accredited by the Ministry of Education. The literacy programme offered here is geared towards remedial education for primary school leavers and adults seeking to sit the CXC and the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations.

  • Development of plans for the provision of more access to formal schooling, through the building and replacing of schools--a preventive mechanism. This is based on the results of the 1995 study (St.. Bernard & Salim) which showed that one of the factors that could reduce illiteracy was more exposure to formal schooling.

  • Using diagnostic testing from an early stage of an individual’s life This will allow school administrators to decide whether individuals need remedial assistance from the early stages of their lives, thus reducing adult illiteracy--another preventive mechanism.

  • Using private organisations such as the Adult Literacy Tutors’ Association (ALTA) and Moms for Literacy, which offer adult literacy classes and assist in the training of tutors for adult literacy programmes. ALTA has 50-60 centres, with enrolments ranging from 500 to 1,000 students, the majority of whom are females.

This shows that a lot of emphasis is being placed on adult literacy in Trinidad and Tobago, involving both preventive and corrective measures. it reflects a balanced approach to literacy training for adults in Trinidad and Tobago.

Literacy Programmes in the Prison Population

There are three in-house education programmes available within the prison system of Trinidad and Tobago:

  • The basic literacy programme, which is aimed at teaching illiterate inmates the basic skills of reading, writing, and spelling.

  • The school leaving programme, in which subjects such as Mathematics, Composition, and English Language are taught at this level (50% of the inmates who have been involved in this programme have attained full passes).

  • The CXC-level programme, which is tutored by prison personnel as well as retired teachers.

This shows that there is an organised programme of literacy training in the prison system of Trinidad and Tobago. There is a detailed step-by-step programme providing educational opportunity for inmates, regardless of their educational level. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of the EFA guidelines are, therefore, being followed in the prisons of Trinidad and Tobago, and is a reflection of what is occurring in the general population.

Skills Training in the General Adult Population

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