LCEP’s Literacy and Numeracy Work

Instead of offering ‘literacy for micro-enterprise’ or ‘literacy for health’, LCEP allows neo-literates to apply their emerging skills in a variety of highly relevant and inter-related village governance and economic empowerment arenas. In this way, learners can make immediate, varied use of their emerging knowledge and skills, thereby making these skills more robust and sustainable. By applying their skills in a community meeting, as part of a credit and savings group, or for publishing the community newsletter, participants recognize the multiple ways in which literacy and numeracy skills can make their lives easier, and their community stronger.

To see a Literacy Component Overview Table, click here.

LCEP’s Principal Literacy activities include:

  1. Training: LCEP literacy and numeracy instruction is based on a cascade training model in which Lead Trainers receive training, then train others in, learner-centered, highly participatory, and differentiated instruction, as well as the fundamentals of functional literacy and numeracy. Other levels of the cascade include District Trainers, Cluster Facilitators and Village Teachers. While District Trainers manage the training process for their district, Cluster Facilitators serve as LCEP’s main resource for Village Teachers. Each Cluster Facilitator is responsible for a cluster of six villages. Perhaps the most important level of the cascade is that of the Village Teachers (VTs). VTsare chosen by LCEP from a pool identified by the CDC. One male and one female teacher are chosen for each village. The majority of LCEP village teachers have a sixth grade education or less. Village teachers initially receive fourteen days of training which includes an introduction to LCEP, the principles of LCEP’s literacy methodology and beginning lesson plans. Thereafter VTs receive weekly support visits from Cluster Facilitators who monitor progress and assist with learning and training in the new methodology. Meanwhile, Village Learners are selected by the community to participate in literacy/ numeracy instruction. In each village there is a male and a female class consisting of a maximum of 25 learners. Village learners range in age from 10-45, with the majority (48% female & 39% male) of learners being between the age of 13 and 18 years of age.

    To see a table representing literacy participation at each level as of December 2005 click here.
  2. Curriculum and Materials Development: The LCEP literacy curriculum is designed to take learners with little to no literacy and numeracy background to a fourth grade equivalency in a total of approximately 600 content hours, delivered over the course of 50, 12-hour weeks. Learners who complete the course are issued Afghan MOE-endorsed Level One equivalency certificates (through Grade 4 equivalency) which allow them to bridge to the formal system at a fifth grade level. The curriculum is designed to take village teachers and learners from a more to a less scaffold learning and teaching environment. Therefore early modules and lessons include more instructions for teachers and learners, while later modules encourage teachers and learners to create their own teaching and learning materials. The LCEP curriculum consists of four modules: Self in Community I and II, and Governance and Micro-Enterprise I and II. Each module contains twelve lesson units for a total of 48.

    To see an overview of the curriculum, click here.
  3. Village Learning Centers: Each community is expected to donate space for one male and one female Village Learning Center. Centers are to be maintained and improved as necessary and possible by the village. LCEP supplies each center with a Literacy Kit consisting of blackboard and chalk, writing implements, a variety of paper, maps, calendars, flashcards, lesson-based short stories, notebooks and other basic items necessary for instruction. Although LCEP provides some start-up resources as well as a small education support grant, communities, with the aid of the CDC are expected to maintain and autonomously support the Village Learning Center.
  4. Literacy Progress Tracking System: As a way of tracking learner progress in literacy and numeracy, LCEP is currently developing a set of learner assessment tools and linking them to a Literacy Progress Tracking System, which registers every Village Teacher and his/ her learners. This database will not only reflect the learner progress, but it will also geographically locate the student. This information is vital for future strategic planning regarding education systems development. As recognition of its importance, the Afghan Ministry of Education has embraced this system and will implement LCEP's Assessment Portfolio approach for Afghan literacy learners nation-wide. The MOE has requested that LCEP implement a series of 18 workshops on literacy assessment and M&E in Kabul and that LCEP assist them with setting up their data base. As part of this process the MOE will incorporate LCEP data into its system. It should be noted that very few developing countries possess such a system, and Afghanistan will be able to showcase and build upon the benefits of an effective and affordable educational planning tool.