Some 6.5 million citizens in 28 nations are no longer illiterate, thanks to the Cuban literacy program known as “Yes, I Can.” The figure surpasses all statistics reported by other similar programs implemented thus far around the world.
The statement was made by the head of the Youth, Adult and Literacy Department of the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogical Institute, Jose Ricardo del Real, in conversation with PL news agency.
At present more than one million illiterate people are currently taking the course, said Del Real, as he referred to the Cuban program, which was first implemented in Venezuela in 2002.
As to the cost of the course, the expert said it depends on the conception of how to apply the program for a course that lasts between 7 and 14 weeks, though an average cost could be estimated at less than $5.
Depending on the application of the program and the teaching means, including a TV set and a DVD player, teaching a person how to read and write would not cost more than five dollars, he said.
Making just a simple calculation, it would take over $7.5 billion to wipe out illiteracy, if we look at statistics saying that some 759 million adults cannot read or write in the world, the expert said.
Our goal was to create a methodology that guaranteed a short-term and high-quality teaching program that could be implemented with minimum human and financial resources and that proved to be economical.
This program allows us to reach the most remote areas with facilitators, who mostly volunteer for the task, thus helping lower costs and reduce the time of the course, said Del Real.
The initiative has proven that by using fewer resources in a short period of time, we can find a solution to efficiently fight illiteracy, said the expert as he also referred to a pilot program under implementation in Australia and in Ecuador.