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Literacy to be a must for getting driving license: MoE

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The Ministry of Education is mulling to make literacy an obligation for drivers for getting license. The idea of making literacy a must was discussed with traffic officials in one day workshop titled “Gradual Obligatory Literacy”, held on Wednesday in Kabul.

Participants from different departments including Deputy Literacy Minister, Kabul Traffic Department along with Provincial Traffic Departments and the international donors came together to work on obligatory gradual literacy mechanism for drivers. The members of workshop stressed that literacy must be a must for issuing driving license.

The workshop was held by the office of Deputy Minister of Education (literacy) and financed by the Afghan National Association for Adult Education (ANAFAE), DVV international (Vhs), Deutson and Zusamenarbeit. The participants urged that literacy must be obligatory for public sector and private sector drivers.

Allah Baz Jam an official from the office of Deputy Minister for Education called literacy a national challenge and said that the literacy must be obligatory for all drivers whether working in government offices or in private capacity. “They must be brought into the fold by gradual literacy programs,” he suggested. “A national consensus on literacy program is essential as it is also part of the National Unity Government (NUG) agendas. The first lady of Afghanistan Lora Ghani is ambassador for literacy, which is why we are hopeful it will be a success,” added Jam.

All the participants of the workshop agreed keeping the literacy   program continued and suggested that media and religious scholars should work for mobility.

Chief of Literacy Teacher Training Department, Huma Nuristani said that literacy campaign programs are usually hit by shortage of funds. She said that local televisions charge at least $500 per literacy campaign ad.

Deputy of Kabul Traffic Department Abdul Qayoom said that literacy must be the criteria for issuing licenses to drivers as most of the   traffic accidents are taking place because of illiteracy as most of the drivers don’t know about traffic rules and regulations and signs.

“Though there are literacy courses for the traffic department staffers, but there is no literacy program for others who are issued driving license, therefore, the Ministry of Education should draft a mechanism to make literacy an obligation for drivers,” Abdul Qayoom suggested.

“Literacy requires a long-term program, but the Ministry of Education should devise time-effective literacy programs so that more people could benefit from it within a reasonable time frame,” added Qayoom.

The director of License Department of Balkh, Hameedullah, said that literacy must be obligatory for getting driving license as 80 percent of traffic accidents are caused by illiterate drivers in Mazar-e-Sharif. The participants also vented their concerns regarding financing of literacy materials.

Chief of Afghan National Association for Adult Education (ANAFAE), BasheerKhaleqi, said that his organization was all set for cooperation in this regard. “ANAFAE is ready to fund publishing literacy books and as a longstandingcounterpart,” he vowed.

President Ashraf Ghani on the eve of Literacy World Day said that all the school and university students, civil society activists and governmental staffers must literate illiterates on individual capacity. The President also said that he will chair the Literacy National Committee for effective management.

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