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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Mali
2012-08-13T13:11:14Z | 2012-08-13T13:11:14Z | 2000-10

Based on research from an evaluation of functional adult literacy during the late 70s, focused on peanut-growing in the western region of Mali, results demonstrated that while literacy programs only attained its full quantitative objectives in just a few localities, the vast majority of participating communities, had nonetheless managed to produce a nucleus of literate people. These people, in charge of marketing commercial crops, including monitoring tax bills, soon enhanced the magnitude of literacy's uses in the rural environment. However, indigenous knowledge, which is social in nature, and culturally transmitted, comes forth in social situations, where groups of people resolve their perceptions, or communicate their wisdom across generations. The note thus focuses on the efforts by the Bank, and the Ministry of Education in supporting methods, and new directions for non-formal basic education, premised on the notion that literacy should be a starting point for training, relevant to rural development. The training had five closely related elements: technical content; hands-on developmental work; field inquiry or local needs assessment; comparison with indigenous knowledge; and, experimental trial and analysis. Varied training results, i.e., waterborne diseases, soil fertility, and indigenous accounting systems, produced new methodologies, evolving into a pedagogy to express indigenous knowledge, by focusing on local needs, based on local knowledge, associating local people as teachers in the learning process, and creating a context for collective reflection.


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