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    NTM-A Literacy Program - building Afghanistan



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Bell 

    NATO Training Mission Afghanistan

    KABUL, Afghanistan - Nine out of 10 Afghan National Army (ANA) recruits are unable to read, write or calculate basic arithmetic. Since 2009 the literacy and language division here, has provided a literacy program to better educate Afghan soldiers.

    The objective of literacy training programs is to get students to a third grade reading level. Educators say this level of training allows students to improve reading and writing skills on their own, should they choose to do so.

    Chief of the Literacy and Language division, Canadian Lt. Col. Tim Isberg says the program is essential for the country’s sustainment. For the last four years, NTM-A has been running a literacy program to insure that there’s a foundation of literate soldiers to professionalize the force, said Isberg.

    In 2012, the ANA established the Darulaman Literacy Centre at the Regional Military Training Centre Capital, to prepare soldiers for their branch training which include military specialties like signal, artillery and engineering.

    Literacy instructors are required to pass a rigorous screening program to verify their credentials, assess their skills, and complete a teacher-training certification program conducted by the Ministry of Education.

    Matiullah Sapi, a literacy center instructor, has taught literacy for nearly two years. “When I’m teaching literacy, people enjoy it a lot.” He said. When the soldiers come here for literacy, the first day they know nothing. After a few weeks, I can see that they learn to read and write and solve their own problems, I really enjoy teaching, said Sapi.

    Mir Azam, a student at the school said “Before the training I had a weakness, I could not spell my name and did not know mathematics, now I can read and write my name and I am very good at math.”

    One day my son brought his notebook to me, he had a difficult math question, and I could not help him answer it, said Sapi. That’s why I focus more and more on mathematics so in the future if my son has a math problem, I will be able to solve it and help my son, he said.

    “Any literate soldier will one day become a more discerning citizen of the country of Afghanistan, said Isberg. “In this case, literacy is building human capitol, it is ‘nation building stuff’ as we like to say and NTM-A is doing its utmost in this final year to push ahead to make sure our goals and their goals are achieved,” said Isberg.
    The Darulaman Literacy Centre has 64 permanent classrooms accommodating up to 1,600 students at a time, and turn out about 8,000 students per year.



    Date Taken: 01.07.2014
    Date Posted: 02.08.2014 03:45
    Story ID: 120319
    Location: KABUL, AF 

    Web Views: 132
    Downloads: 0