The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development wants the government to consider the revival of Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) classes across the country in order to improve the literacy levels and also support social mobilisation efforts.
This was one of the key recommendations at a two-day 2017/2018 Social Development Sector review meeting that ended yesterday in Kampala.
“We need to convince government to allocate funds for the revival of FAL so that our older people are able to learn how to read and write. There is evidence that we have 10 million people who cannot read and write,” said Gender minister Janat Mukwaya said.
She said FAL would also cater for those who dropped out of school before completing Primary Seven.
According to Ms Mukwaya, the FAL classes will help to engage the people to change their attitude towards government projects and services being implemented in the communities.
“We have given out mosquito nets but people use them for other unintended purposes yet malaria is on the rise,” she said.
The minister added that lack of investing in FAL is hampering community mobilisations and socialisation.
She said Cabinet had earlier on discussed the revival of FAL but the implementation was hampered by the Ministry of Finance stance that government money must be spent in a 70 per cent (infrastructure development) to 30 per cent (institutional support) model.
This model means that, Ministry of Finance could not fund FAL because it is not a priority area since it does not involve infrastructural development.
The Gender ministry Under Secretary, Mr Benon Kigenyi, said the challenge Ministry of Finance has with FAL is that such classes can be held in any form of shelter without contributing to new infrastructures.
The ministry of Gender was also asked to work with the Ministry of Education and Sports to promote skills training since many people joining the labour market do not have skills required by employers.
“There are many educated Ugandans who may not get jobs because of lack of hands-on skills. There is need to identify talent and nature it early to ensure our people are ready for competitive employment,” Ms Mukwaya said.