The introduction of adult education programme by the government in Kabarole and Bunyangabu districts has improved mothers’ livelihoods.
The programme dubbed Functional Adult Literacy (FAL), was launched by the government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in 1992 in a bid to raise the socio-economic status of the people of Kabarole and Bunyangabu districts.
Functional Adult literacy (FAL) is aimed at imparting reading, writing, and numeracy skills to adults.
Mothers shared testimonies of how the government programme has had a positive impact on their lives.
Ms Gorret Nisiima, 49, a resident of Mugusu Sub-county, Kabarole District is married with six children. She dropped out of school after completing Primary Seven.
Nisiima was forced to get married at the age of 19 with little education background and with no skill, forcing her to depend on her husband for a livelihood.
“I was married off when I was with no skill to earn a living for myself and I used to depend on my husband who was also a peasant depending on agriculture,” Nisiima said.
She added: “We could sell our products and later he could give me little money like Shs20,000 to buy clothes and also pay school fees for children.”
Nisiima said with the introduction of adult literacy in Kabarole District, she was mobilised with the help of a community development officer to join a group in order to get knowledge and skills to earn a living, which she said has transformed her life.
“I learnt how to make sweaters, and trousers with other members of the community. Now I make school sweaters and trousers. I earn at least Shs20,000 every day,” Nisiima explained.
Ms Sylvia Kobusinge, 42, from Hakibale Sub- county, also in Kabarole, got empowered economically when she joined a saving and credit society organisation through literacy groups.
Kobusinge said she dropped out of school in Primary Six due to lack of school fees and started doing domestic work.
“By the age of 20 when I was getting married I could do only domestic work and I was wondering how one could survive in future without any skill of making money,” Kobusinge said.
Since she acquired skills, her life has changed financially and she has managed to pay school fees for her children to complete secondary education.
The programme is being implemented in the district with the support of the central government which contributes a conditional grant and has been reviewed annually within the framework of National Adult Literacy Strategic Investment Plan.
From financial year 2009/10 up to 2016/17, the central government funded the functional adult literacy programme with Shs148 million.
The money was meant to facilitate the FAL classes such as facilitating instructors and buying materials to use and other activities.
In Kabarole and Bunyangabu districts, there are 326 instructors. A total of 146 instructors are male and 180 are female.
There are 3,780 learners, with 926 being male and 2,854 female. About 242 bicycles have been received from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and distributed to FAL instructors in the districts.
The leaners have been trained in agriculture, hands-on skills such as hand craft, animal rearing and literacy to improve their welfare.
To date 3,463 learners have graduated. At least 734 were male, while 1,729 were female.
The Kabarole District community development officer, Mr David Musisa, said functional adult literacy in the district has created great impact among the beneficiaries.
Mugisa said FAL classes happen in every community where members are mobilised in different group depending on their common needs.
“People think that functional adult literacy is just going to class and putting on uniform and you start writing, but one need to know that we mobilise different members of the community with our instructors and we teach them on what to do depending on what they need to be addressed,” Mr David Mugisa said.