By Elias Banda
In a bid to increase literacy levels community members at Group Village Mdondwe in Lilongwe have passed a law enforcing men and women to attend adult classes. During a village meeting community members agreed that those who would not register and attend classes would pay a fine of K3000 (about $6). The unanimous decision was arrived at upon getting the news that all 22 people who sat for October 2013 examinations in the village adult class failed to reach the passing mark.
Speaking in an interview Village Head Mdondwe said the results were unacceptable given the high levels of illiteracy in his village where many people could not read and write. He said it was difficult for his subjects to participate in community development activities when they could not read and write. During the interview the village head was visibly shocked by the results his village got and expressed concern that his village would lag behind in development if illiteracy was sustained. He therefore gave a stern warning that he would deal with failures. The chief however said he was optimistic that things would improve with the imposition of a fine because people would now be serious.
Last year ADRA Malawi, through the Action for Social Change Program facilitated establishment of an adult class in the area for people to learn how to read, write and count. Meanwhile, classes have resumed in the village and an impromptu visit to area showed an overwhelming class attendance.
The Action for Social Change Program is being supported by Denmark to bring about individual and society change in Tradional Authority Tsabango in Lilongwe.