By Jallah Amoson
The Executive Director of the National Adult Education Association of Liberia (NAEL) Desterlyn Allen has stressed the importance of Adult Education in the country.
Speaking in an interview at her office on the Robertsfield highway in Margibi County over the weekend, Madam Allen said her organization, which was founded in 1977 by a group of Liberian educators who were interested in promoting literacy in the county, has been working in partnership with communities and implementing partners to coordinate activities with the Ministry of Education (MoE), in order to reduce illiteracy in Liberia.
She said presently NAEAL has programs in fourteen counties and has forestry education programs in Grand Bassa and Nimba counties. Participants have been community dwellers who were taught how to manage and preserve their forests.
She emphasized that NAEAL’s programs are intended to provide necessary skills and knowledge to community dwellers, to enable them to do something for themselves. Her organization, she said, has trained more than 500 literacy facilitators and 13,000 learners across the country.
As a result, she said, the beneficiaries have gained self-esteem and additional skills in writing as well as working and improving their communication skills.
NAEAL’s aim, she said, is to empower people through education, business and life skills, and professional development skills in order to sustain development in their communities.
Madam Allen said the organization is presently on level 2 in its literacy program, which is beyond expectation. NAEAL has launched a national mass literacy program with the intention of incorporating Liberian adults in order to teach them how to read and write.
She emphasized that this can only be done with the help of the central government, national and international partners.
She said NAEAL has launched its functional literacy program to make sure that illiterate adult Liberians can achieve their goal of becoming part of Liberia’s literate people.
Madam Allen disclosed that NAEAL’s community empowerment programs include adult literacy, business development, institutional capacity building, networking advocacy, resource and professional development.
She said NAEL’s literacy program has been changing the lives of the people by taking them from what she called zero level to the point where the learners can read and write short sentences and letters, among many others.
Meanwhile, Madam Allen has called on the government, national and international partners to support NAEAL to make Liberia a better society.