First Graduation of Alfabetizacion Program

April 26, 2012 in Events, Involúcrese, Programs

Last month the Patronato Benefico Oriental, along with the Foundation for the Southern Future, celebrated the first graduation of the Literacy Program for Youth and Young Adults. The ceremony was very uplifting and emotional—everyone in attendance was filled with a sense of pride to see men and women, youth and young adults receiving certificates of accreditation as graduates of the program. Completion of the program will also give these graduates the opportunity to participate in programs of continued education, such as in the formal system or technical programs such as those sponsored by the PBO Vocational Workshop, in partnership with INFOTEP.

The Dominican Republic has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the Caribbean. With an estimated 10-13% of the adult population illiterate, it is significantly above the average of 8.3% among Caribbean and Latin American counties. The problem is severe—the country is far above the average rate of illiteracy. The project Plan Estratégico de Educación Provincial aims to reduce poverty by means of intensive action, participative programs for youth and adults that will gradually eradicate illiteracy in La Romana. The communities benefited by the first cycle of the program were the Hogar del Niño, Municipal District Cumayasa KM 10, Batey Cacata, and Villa Hermosa—including the neighborhoods of San Carlos, Pica Piedra, and Tsuchi, for a total of four hundred and thirty-eight participants.

The four hundred and thirty-eight participants who finished the program received certificates accredited by the Ministry of Adult Education of the Dominican Republic (MINERD), and seventy-three participants were placed in second and third cycle of basic formal adult education.

We hope that in the future these adults can continue their education and that the success of this program continues. Literacy does not only involve letters and knowledge of words and what they imply, but furthermore it offers participants and their communities the opportunity to achieve change in their own lives of their own will, to be men and women capable of integrating graciously into Dominican society and the labor market, to develop critical thinking skills and entrepreneurial skills, and to ultimately provide independent support for their families.