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close this bookFunctional Adult Literacy - Curriculum (German Adult Education Association - UNICEF - UNESCO, 1996, 65 p.)
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View the documentINTRODUCTION.
Open this folder and view contentsBROAD OUTLINE OF THE CONTENT OF THE CURRICULUM:


This is a curriculum of a Functional Adult Literacy and Integrated Non-Formal Basic Education programme which has been developed for implementation throughout Uganda.

This Functional Adult Literacy and Integrated Non-Formal Basic Education curriculum is designed to provide learners with basic knowledge and skills in reading, writing and numeracy to establish sustainable literacy. The curriculum is intended to provide basic knowledge and skills integrated with literacy in the following programme areas:

- Health
- Legal Issues
- Agriculture, Co-operatives and Marketing
- Animal Husbandry
- Gender Issues
- Literacy
- Culture and Civic Consciousness
- Language.

This is to enable the learners to live a more productive, healthier and happier life. The abilities which would need to be acquired by the learner for this are indicated in the general aims and the specific objectives of the curriculum. The content specification of this curriculum groups the above eight programme areas under three major headings, with Language and Literacy subsumed in all of them. This reduces the listing of the programme areas to three, namely:

Agriculture, Co-operatives, Marketing and Trade;
Health; and
Gender Issues, Culture and Civic Consciousness;

but does not omit themes relevant to any of the original eight programme areas.

Clientele of the programme and curriculum:

The curriculum is intended for out-of-school youths and adults, with special emphasis on women. It presents to the learner the opportunity to learn through problem solving for sustainable self and community development. It encourages the learner to develop positive attitudes towards learning and work through practical activities. Both the literacy and numeracy aspects have been integrated within the different topics to give relevance and immediate application.

Context for the choice of content selection:

The curriculum has been developed in an attempt to address the following major problems which were identified through the Needs Assessment carried out earlier:

- Poverty
- Disease
- Food, Land and Water shortage
- Inadequate Health facilities
- Ignorance.

Format of detailed specification:

From the broad programme areas themes, units, and main topics that tend to answer the various needs of the individuals and community through a more practical approach have been developed in an integrated way. Suggested activities and instructional materials have been given but there is room for flexibility which allows the teacher not only to be more creative and innovative but also to take initiative when teaching. The programme areas are used as carriers of messages, skills and attitude developers. Any other suitable carriers can be used even if this is not mentioned in the curriculum guide. A summary of the themes and units relevant to each programme area is given under the Broad Outline of the Content of the Curriculum.

This curriculum guide is one of a set of documents which together present a more complete formulation of what could be dealt with in Functional Adult Literacy and Integrated Non-Formal Basic Education in Uganda and, especially, on how to devise and conduct learning experiences. The other documents are the Primers, Teachers' Guides and the Follow-up Readers.

It will be noted that the curriculum content is a guideline which stops at main topics. The sub-topics, main ideas and detailed concepts and aspects which the teacher/instructor requires to cover in each topic is to be found in the Teacher's/Instructor's Guide and Primers. It is also at this stage that the material to be covered will be divided into stages 1, 2, 3 and so on.


The implementation of the curriculum calls for the involvement of the learners and the intersectoral resource persons whose disciplines are being used as programme areas. They all need to be involved in discussions and preparation or development of learning materials. The indication of suggested activities and materials for each unit in the detailed outline of content is not meant to be either prescriptive or exhaustive. The activities and their materials requirements should give a hint to the teacher/instructor that methods which encourage participatory learning and those which emphasize practical activity by the learner are the most appropriate to this curriculum.

The local communities are encouraged to be involved in the production of materials which are relevant to their needs and related to their situation in their areas. The learners should also be involved in practical work and out-door activities using locally available resources within the environment. The effective participation of technical local field officers will evolve from the appropriate co-ordination in the office of the Community Development Officer.


This being the first curriculum developed in this field, there are bound to be areas not dealt with exhaustively. This is especially true in light of the diverse needs of the adult population. Therefore, there is still room for improving on this curriculum during the pilot phase of the project. Formative evaluation of the pilot phase and periodic review of the programme thereafter will be the basis for continuous refinement of the curriculum.

Self assessment by the learner is preferred in this curriculum and should be encouraged in all learning situations designed to achieve the objectives of each theme and programme area as outlined in the curriculum. Other techniques of assessing learning, such as demonstration of acquired skills or competence and peer-evaluation, could be used to supplement self-evaluation.

The aims and the specific objectives of the curriculum as well as the objectives of the individual themes in the detailed specification of the content have been formulated in order partly to help the teacher/instructor develop criteria for assessing learning achievement. Many of the activities suggested for various topics in each theme can be easily adapted for use in observation techniques of assessing learner performance.


This curriculum for Functional Adult Literacy and Integrated Non-Formal Basic Education presents a programme in which educative activities in functional literacy for adults and out-of-school youth can be designed in order to:

1. Encourage the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes in reading, writing and numeracy based on the needs and problems of the learners and their community.

2. Create awareness among learners concerning the causes, and possible solutions of their problems.

3. Enable learners actively participate in their personal development, that of their community and to improve the quality of life.

4. Provide integrated, functional non-formal Basic Education to learners through problem-solving approach.

5. Promote the appreciation and enjoyment of the benefits and opportunities acquired through the mastery of the skills of reading, writing and numeracy.


Throughout this curriculum the active verbs of the objectives are directed at the learners and not the Instructor/Teacher. Thus the specific objectives of the curriculum for Functional Adult Literacy and Integrated Non-Formal Basic Education shall be to enable learners to:

(a) read materials necessary for the improvement of their daily lives.

(b) express their ideas logically both orally and in writing and be able to share such ideas with others.

(c) solve simple numerical calculations relevant to their daily lives.

(d) demonstrate positive attitude towards acquiring knowledge and skills in reading, writing, numeracy and practical work.

(e) demonstrate ability to identify and look for ways of solving the problems faced by the individual and community.

(f) actively participate in the socio-economic and cultural activities of the community.

(g) use the acquired interest and skills to continue learning on their own.

(h) demonstrate enthusiasm to take the initiative in the promotion of observance of norms, customs and laws that protect human rights and human dignity without gender biases.