Maryland Literacy Programme

Milestones in the Maryland Literacy Programme

1976 Launch 16 June 1976
30 literacy venues in operation.
"Each one teach one" slogan proved a never-failing inspiration. Journalism courses started. Own material developed.

1977 Classes on farms started as far afield as Victoria West and Porterville. Classes at Guguletu for migrant workers.

1978 A number of magazines produced, including recipe books. Nurses were trained for various hospitals e.g. Brooklyn Chest Hospital, Kimberley Tuberculosis Hospital, Infectious Diseases Hospital, Malmesbury.

1979 International Literacy Day:
The theme "Through the literacy of parents, we prepare a future for the children" was chosen in conjunction with the International Year of the Child.

"I am happy to have this opportunity of the International Literacy Day 1979, to renew my wishes to all those who are devoting themselves to this great work of human fraternity, and I pray the Omnipotent God to shower abundant blessings on them and their efforts."
Given at the Vatican, August 29 1979

Classes started in Southern and Eastern Cape.
"Breaking through the literacy barrier"

1980 "The end of the World is Near" by Ken Davids published in the BP magazine.The Constantia Education Project was granted a Group Areas permit and sent three senior pupils to Maryland to train as facilitators.

1981 Shawco - classes started in shacks in the informal settlements. Anglo American farms - Paarl.

1982 Cheshire Home Hanover Park - paraplegics taught to adapt themselves to a new lifestyle.

1983 Maryland Training Team participated in "Learn and Teach" in Johannesburg. Classes at Crossroads Development Centre. Misereor sponsored literacy workshop in Zimbabwe.

1984 Classes held for UCT cleaning staff. Classes held at Avalon Rehabilitation Centre.

1985 Education for Self-reliance. Valkenberg classes - maximum security prison.

1986 86 courses by the end of the 10th year, 752 participants. USKOR (University of Stellenbosch) in conjunction with Maryland ran basic reading and writing courses.

1987 10th Anniversary of Operation Upgrade in the Western Cape. Workers of the National Health department complete a literacy course.

1988 Shocking statistics that 60 - 70% of people in the Western Cape were functionally illiterate. The programme serves domestic workers, farm workers and migrant
Labourers. Classes held at Percy Bartley house (Christopher House) hostel for working young men.

1989 Maryland became an independent literacy organisation with its own logo and constitution: "Learn to Read, Read to Learn - Literacy opens Worlds".
"Learner-centred" approach was implemented.

1990 July: Equal Opportunity Trust donated money for the Stallion Commuter.
1990 - 2000 International Literacy Year and Decade.

1991 September: Umtapo.
Literacy for Empowerment Conference (SAALAE).

1992 Founding of SAALAE (South African Association for Literacy and Adult Education).
Literacy workshop for Transformation and Hope.

1993 SANLA (South African National Learners Association).
Donation of Hi-Ace by the Energos Foundation (Engen).
Voter education and workshops on democracy.

Further development:

1994 Workshops held that have enhanced the programme:
Dr Neville Alexander: "Afrikaans for the new South Africa",
Dr Melvin November: "Teaching English as a second language",
"Women in Development" conference in Groblersdaal attended by a Maryland learner representative.

Empowerment of Learners:

Learner representative of Maryland participated in Zimbabwe Learner Association conference. (The Zimbabwe experience brought about a Renaissance.)
-Formation of own organisation
-Election of their own representatives
-Learners were elected to the Maryland Board

1995 Prof. Dan Moshenberg: "Education for Critical Action" workshop
Dereck Naidoo: Land Resource and Information Centre
Community Publishing Workshop
Pioneered training for Deaf facilitators
External evaluation of Learners
Anne Hope: "Literacy for Transformation"
Maryland Learners celebrated Human Rights Day in Abbotsdale

1996 Workers on Klipfontein Farm in Grabouw successfully negotiated with Land Reform. Workers now own and run the farm as a co-operative.
Paul Harris Fellow Award to Sr. Marina

1997 Learning material developed to comply with the outcomes set by IEB.
Independent Examination Board - first examinations for adult learners. Overall pass rate of 79%.
New Constitution drawn up.
Launch of book: "Women's Courageous Struggle /Vroue se dapper Stryd".
Phillippi House:
Refugees from Ethiopia, Burundi, Zaire and Rwanda attend classes to learn English.

1998 Jesmina Mentoor, Learner representative addresses delegates at the Rotary International Conference in Oudtshoorn.
Learner Certificate ceremony - Leeuwenhof, home of the Premier of the Western Cape: Mr Gerald Morkel. "The way forward to a literate society".
National Woman's Day celebration, Ceres.
International Literacy Day - Grabouw.
"The importance of literacy in our daily lives"
UNESCO delegates from Namibia, Jamaica, Benin, Senegal and Haiti visit Maryland Centre and are highly impressed.

1999 Learners interviewed on radio - Voice of the Cape
Rachel Balie: "Technique of teaching numeracy to adults" workshop
"Adult Education - the key to the 21st century"

Human Rights Day celebrated at Delft Library.
"Empowerment through Education".
October - visit to Maryland by Prof. Kader Asmal, Minister of Education - "Citizens must be equipped with knowledge and skills".
St Anne's Home for the Abused, Woodstock - classes held.

Adult Learner Week - Provincial Award
Mr Attie Snyers from Die Poort received an award for Leadership and Initiative.

2000 Learners become facilitators.
Learners travel to Kwa-Zulu Natal for launch of Peoples Education Network (PEN).
Adult Learner Week - Provincial Award.
Mrs Rachel Hanslo received the Outstanding Learner Award.

2001 International Year of the Volunteer
"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has!"
- Margaret Mead


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