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close this bookThe Reintegration of War-Affected Youth: The Experience of Mozambique (International Labour Organization, 1997, 52 p.)
close this folder4. Incorporating life skills into vocational skills training
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1. Literacy and numeracy
View the document4.2. Basic management skills
View the document4.3. Civic education
View the document4.4. Peace education
View the document4.5. Knowledge of human rights and labour standards
View the document4.6. HIV/AIDS awareness
View the document4.7. Psychosocial assistance
View the document4.8. Drug and alcohol abuse
View the document4.9. Mine awareness

4.1. Literacy and numeracy

Armed conflict inevitably deprives children of education, whether because of service in an armed force or as a result of individual or familial displacement. In the case of Mozambique, a number of vocational training courses included (or were accompanied by) literacy and numeracy training and the experience seems to have been positive. Set against this is the view of some who maintain that literacy and numeracy competence should be a prerequisite in selection criteria for participation in vocational training courses, particularly where self-employment is envisaged. This view probably applies more in the case of short-term courses, such as those conducted for the demobilized, than longer-term projects for youth who have missed out on basic education.

For social as well as individual reasons, internally displaced youth are especially in need of vocational training that includes literacy and numeracy, yet they are most unlikely to receive it. Refugee children and youth tend to have better access to basic education; this seems to have been the experience in Mozambique also. As noted above, the provision of vocational training combined with support to families could not only protect and assist “street children”, it could also prevent the phenomenon from occurring.