I recently had the opportunity to travel to Ouelessebougou and was fortunate to spend quite a bit of time visiting with the teachers and students in several elementary schools. As I visited with these remarkable people, I was reminded of the educational challenges they have faced and improvements they have made over the years. I was reminded of the low literacy rate that continues to impact the entire nation of Mali. Only 12% of women and 27% of men are able to read or write. This statistic was very troublesome to me, but as I looked around at the schools that have been constructed and the number of students attending them, I felt an extreme amount of hope.
During my visit to the village of Dialakoro Keleya, I was able to meet with a teacher by the name of Salif. He mentioned several educational improvements that have occurred since he attended school as a young boy many years ago. The two improvements that he emphasized the most were that 1) teaching is much more interactive now and corporal punishment is no longer the acceptable way to teach and 2) girls are now attending school—an opportunity their mothers never had!
Education is becoming a higher priority throughout Mali and the Alliance is thrilled to be a part of this progress! 64% of Malian children are now attending schools and many of them are girls! Historically Malian girls have not been allowed to attend school; however, parents are really beginning to see the importance of an education for their daughters. 500 girls are currently attending the Alliance’s 12 elementary schools! I believe that this generation of children will have many more opportunities in the future because of the education they are receiving. Your support of the Alliance’s education program will truly make a lasting impact for generations to come!
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