A group of civil society organisations including COSYDEP, Alphadev, Cendreao, Cneap and the DEFI NGO on Sunday in Dakar urged the government of Senegal to allocate t 3 percent of state budget to providing quality education, in line with the commitment made at the African Regional Conference on Global Literacy held from September 10 to 12, 2007 in Bamako, Mali.“Thirteen years after the commitment made in Bamako to invest 3 percent of their budgets in literacy, Senegal is still struggling to devote 1 percent of its budget to literacy. This is why we are asking Senegal to respect its commitment, all the more so as five million Senegalese are illiterate,” said Cheikh Mbow, Executive Director of the Coalition of Organizations in Synergy for Public Education Advocacy (COSYDEP).
He was speaking in a press briefing to launch the National Literacy Week scheduled from September 8 to 14, 2020 under the theme: “Literacy and its teaching during and after the Covid-19 crisis.”
The Senegalese civil society literacy collective stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified existing literacy challenges, profoundly affecting schooling and lifelong learning opportunities, including for youth and adults.
“This is why from the perspective of recovery and building resilience, it is important that literacy be integrated into global and national response and recovery plans to ensure continuity of learning, improved provision but also the development of better adapted and more inclusive lifelong learning systems,” said Alphadev Executive Director and spokesperson of the day, Mor Diakhaté.
With regard to Senegal, he called on the State to eradicate illiteracy and promote national languages through a quality literate environment, ensure sustained funding for the Plan to Accelerate Literacy in Senegal (PASS), and develop intersectoral initiatives by making over 500,000 people literate every year in order to develop a coherent language policy, restore the National Centre for Educational Resources (CNRE) and the Centre for Multipurpose Educational Resources for Adults (CREPA), and draw up a comprehensive assessment in order to assess the behaviour of beneficiary flows in the formal sector.