1. Current condition of illiteracy in China
After years of efforts, China has made world recognized historical achievement in literacy. Illiteracy rate (percentage of population that are illiterate and over 15 years of age) has fallen from 80% before 1949 to 4.08% (2011 data from Chinese Statistics Bureau), that is 2.64% lower than 6.72% from 2000 census. However, total number of illiterate persons is still high at about 60 million, 20 million of them are young adults at age 15 to 50. Total population at Xizang, Qinghai, Guizhou, Gansu, Yunnan, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi provinces is 15% of total national population, but illiterate people there is 50% of national total. 90% of illiterates are from rural areas, and female illiteracy is 70% of the total number of illiterates. There are still a small number of illiterates in China’s developed eastern regions, statistics show that there are 600,000 illiterates at Beijing. The overall pattern is that 90% of illiterates are from rural areas, half of illiterates are at western regions, and 70% of illiterates are female.
In poor backward rural areas, poverty leads to illiteracy, and illiteracy leads to poverty. This has formed a vicious circle. Vast majority of illiterates are at rural areas, this directly affects the solution to the national level problem of “agriculture, rural, peasantry”. Illiterate peasants have difficulty to understand and master new technical concepts, they have trouble to understand and master new mode of production and lifestyle. Hence it is difficult for them to resist superstition or attacks from negative culture, fallacies and heresy. They have difficulty to deal with changes in international market and to enjoy lives brought by modern development.
70% of illiterates in China are female, in rural areas the phenomenon of girls drop-out of school is particularly serious. As women bear the heavy responsibility of raising their children, education level of mothers affects the future of the Chinese nation. Illiterate mothers could aversely affect the intellectual development and education of children.
At present in China, annual increase of illiterates is about 500,000. Because school drop-out still exists, universal primary education has not been achieved in about 200 counties of the nation and population mobility is increasing, therefore before existing illiterates are completely wiped out new illiterates appear. As literacy work is somewhat like a movement and sporadic in nature, and that quality of literacy work was not high, the outcome was not solid, hence some former literacy class students became illiterate again.
China has designated illiteracy eradication and 9-year universal education as top priority educational works. Literacy curriculum and teaching reform is deepening, education mechanism that meets the basic needs of adult literacy is taking shape. Practicality of literacy continues to improve, and gradually shift its direction from ‘literacy’ to ‘education’.
2. Current condition of illiteracy in Sichuan province
In the past 10 years, with rapid development of education, education level of Sichuan population has increased faster and quality of the population is greatly improved. However, there is still significant gap between Sichuan and the national level as the national illiteracy rate is just 4.08% compared with the Sichuan illiteracy rate of 5.44%.
3. Project Plan
1. Project Sites: Bazhong, Dazhou, Jiangyou, Pengzhou, and Nanchong cities. These cities are selected as first sites because they possess the following qualities:
1.1 The church there has a certain size and is enthusiastic in social services.
1.2 The city and the church have large number of migrant workers from rural areas, and illiteracy rate is high.
1.3 Have large number of believers, abundant supply of volunteer teachers
1.4 Have premise for training classes
1.5 Have convenient transportation
2. Recruitment of teachers: believers with high school education or above are qualified to be recruited as teachers. Upon recruitment they will receive pre-job training for 1 week by Hua Mei International Education and Training Center. Each site needs a staff of 10, this includes 6 teachers, 3 teaching assistant and 1 logistics personnel.
3. Teaching material: to be compiled by experienced professionals, 55% of its content will be biblical passages and 45% from general reading material.
4. Class term length: class will run for 1 year.
5. Recruitment of Students: open to the public, anyone can apply, including believers and non-believers.
A. First stage – foundational course: 4 months, 3 class sessions (2 hours each) a week, for a total of about 110 hours.
B. Second stage – upgrading course: 4 months, 3 class sessions (2 hours each) a week, for a total of about 110 hours.
C. Third stage – consolidation course: 4 months, 3 class sessions (2 hours each) a week, for a total of about 110 hours.
7. Responsibilities of Chinese Relief & Development Foundation(CRDF):
7.1 Promotion and fund raising for the project
7.2 Monthly review of class progress reports and financial reports.
7.3 Compile and print teaching material
7.4 Prepare project progress report, periodic submission of progression report to donor and related parties.
8. Responsibilities of Huamei Internation Education and Training Center(HMI):
8.1 Organize and train teachers
8.2 Formulate curriculum plans
8.3 Formulate curriculum management regulations, and project site management regulations.
8.4 Regular inspection of class operation and examination of financial condition.
8.5 Monthly review of class progress reports and financial reports.
8.6 Compile and print teaching material
8.7 Prepare project progress report, periodic submission of progression report to CRDF and related parties.
9. Responsibilities of the operation church:
9.1 Establish responsible team for literacy class, operate according to curriculum plans and project site management regulations.
9.2 Provide site premise for free
9.3 Recommend teachers and teaching assistants, and provide logistic personnel
9.4 Provide office equipment like computer, photocopier and printer etc.
9.5 Perform logistic well and resolve dispute
9.6 Encourage and supervise students to persistently complete the course