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Functional literacy

Definition A person is functionallyliterate/illiterate who can/cannot engage in all thoseactivities in which literacy is required for effectivefunctioning of his or her group and community andalso for enabling him or her to continue to usereading, writing and calculation for his or her own andthe community’s development. (Definition originallyapproved in 1978 at UNESCO’s General Conference,and still in use today.)

Example of use  Although the Work Oriented Adult Literacy Programme did not achieve the success expected – it was, after all, an experimental and pioneering effort – it did help to establish more firmly the principle of linking literacy instruction with uses directly relevant to the adult learner. Indeed, the phrase ‘functional literacy’ remains very much in use. The question for the educational planner – whether a government official or a member of a voluntary body – is what uses or functions will be relevant to which groups of adult learners? (Oxenham, 2008: 62).

Out-of-School Programme (OSP): This programme is aimed at providing more than just literacy training for the adolescent population who missed out on basic education. It proposes the replacement of the present OSP byrestructuring the age group of 8-14 year olds to 11-14. It has been concluded that in order to provide functional literacy, education must take place in a broad context of life skills and labour market demand. The curricula will thus be revised to match the needs of the adolescent age group and to provide functional literacy and skills for life andthe labour market. The duration of the OSP course will remain two periods of nine months over two years (Tuladhar, 2004: 51).