Education and training : ICI opens bridging classes and literacy programs in Côte d’Ivoire.
The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) has decided to create bridging classes for children out of the school system and literacy programs for illiterate adults in its intervention areas in Côte d’Ivoire. Thus, since July 2015, a range of activities aiming at opening learning centres for children that were taken out of the school system and for illiterate adults have been organised in the communities where ICI operates.
Thus far, 379 learners (amongst which 112 children and 267 adults) have been selected, 8 rural facilitators have been trained, 4 bridging classes have started and equipped and resources have been acquired. With the help of the Department of Alphabetisation and Non-Formal Education of the Ministry of National Education, ICI was able to effectively start, on the 4th April 2016, the teachings in the bridging classes and the literacy programs. Regular controls and pedagogic supervision of the classes and teaching programs are conducted by the education authority to ensure that the teaching guidelines are respected.
Creating the bridging classes
The bridging classes welcome children from 9 to 14 years old taken out of the school system or those who have never been to school in order to teach them the basic knowledge and to reintegrate them, after eight months, in the regular school system according to their age.
It is important to highlight that since the academic year 2015-2016, school enrolement for children from 6 to 16 years old is mandatory in Côte d’Ivoire. ICI decided to create the bridging classes to comply with this governmental directive and to meet the needs regarding child protection and their access to education in the cocoa-growing communities.
The rural facilitators who teach the children that were taken out of the school system as well as those who have never been to school are volunteers living in the community and were recruited based on their capacity, their educational level, their competences and their implication in the activities of the community.
Creating the literacy programs
The literacy programs welcome illiterate adults in order to teach them the basic knowledge and competences in reading and writing. Thanks to images and symbols, the illiterate adults learn to read, to count and are able to acquire the knowledge necessary to make them autonomous and to give them the tools to face the evolution of their society.
Like for the bridging classes, the facilitators of the literacy programs are volunteers who live in the community and who are chosen with the approval of the community’s leaders. They are recruited based on their educational level and their teaching abilities.
ICI has committed to the communities to provide the volunteers’ payments during the whole operation.