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Implementing Agency

Non-Formal Education Division, Education Department,
Ministry of Health & Education
Thimphu
Phone:  975-2-324712/325067
Fax: 975-2-325067
E-mail:  NFE1@druknet.net.bt

 

Literacy and NFE situation
The adult literacy and NFE programmes in Bhutan started in 1992, with establishment of 10 pilot NFE centres targeting the early school dropouts and those out of formal education.  By the end of 2001, more than 15,000 learners had completed the basic literacy course in 243 NFE centres.  No literacy survey has been conducted in Bhutan.  It is believed the literacy rate in 1991 was around 35-50%, and the most recent estimate of adult literacy rate is 54%, with women’s literacy as low as 20%.  The adult illiterate population above 18 years is estimated to be around 150,000-180,000, most of which are in rural remote areas.

 

CLC Initiatives and Features
Realizing the importance of the NFE programme to reach the illiterate population especially in rural areas and to facilitate lifelong education, the government launched the CLC projects with support of UNESCO in 1998.  Total of 10 CLCs have been newly established by 2002, and another 20 CLCs have been set up by using the existing infrastructure such as Outreach Clinic, schools, community halls, temples and other vacant village houses.

During the CLC construction process, the communities contribute land and labor while the government is responsible for its design and building materials.  This is the same approach that has been taken with ‘community schools’ constructed in remote areas of the country.

 

Main Activities
The main function of CLCs includes the delivery of basic and post-literacy courses for adults and skills training, such as carpentry and agriculture.  Most CLCs have 1 multi-purpose hall, 1 reading room, 2 classrooms and 1 resource room.  Some CLCs are also used for conducting lower primary classes during the daytime to improve the access to primary education for the children living in long distance from the schools.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses (Achievements and Challenges)
CLC projects have been so far concentrating on the construction, furnishing and creating awareness of the concept of the CLC in the country.  Although CLC functions were to be extended to include health and vocational training, these activities have been limited and CLCs are yet under-utilized due to the lack of funding and difficulties to co-ordinate with different extention agents.  There are also the needs to provide training for CLC managers/trainers on management and organization of CLC, networking, community mobilization, materials development, library management and development of skills training syllabi.

 

Future Plans
CLCs are proposed to be strengthened through:
- Establishment of 10 new CLCs in 10 districts and 20 sub-CLCs during the period of 9th five year plan (2002-2007).
- Preparation of guidelines for district education officers on post-literacy CLC programmes.
- Organization of a national and 4 regional CLC seminars to determine strategies to make CLCs sustainable.
- Conducting literacy surveys and needs assessment.
- Establishment of reading corners/libraries in CLCs.
- Starting the tailoring courses in all CLCs.
- Starting vocational courses in selected CLCs based on the needs of learners.
- Conducting training courses for CLC coordinators, managers and instructors.