From email@example.com Tue May 4 13:45:08 2004
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 11:56:10 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
Members of the 25th Anniversary of the Literacy Campaign Movement
(ALCM) are accusing the post-Sandinista Liberal governments of
returning the general population to the levels of illiteracy
comparable to the decades of the Somoza dictatorship. Speaking for the
ALCM, Nery Orochena said,
It is a deliberate policy of Liberal
governments to keep people illiterate. It's yet another way to
enable their members to get rich unjustly, since the people don't
know enough to challenge them.
As a result, the Nicaraguan people are almost back in the dark days
of the Somoza dynasty, he continued.
None of the last Liberal
governments has been seriously interested in education. At the start
of every school year, roughly one million children of school age find
they cannot attend classes; in consequence, they are excluded from the
education which is their right. Add to these the high numbers of
students who, having started the academic year, find they cannot
continue, almost always from economic necessity, and are forced to
drop out of school altogether. When the last Somoza was deposed,
Nicaragua had an illiteracy rate of about 53%. That figure already
stands at 40% again, and, the way things are going, we will soon have
60% or more of the population unable to read and write.
He stressed again that the coming 25th anniversary celebration, to be
held in August of 2005, would be much more than a mere commemoration
of an epic event in the life of the country.
Starting from now, we
intend to persuade all municipal governments to enter into a permanent
literacy crusade and to call on the ministry of education to get
involved too. Given these appalling figures, it is their absolute duty
to do so.
The ALCM will begin the year leading up to the actual quarter century
anniversary with a celebration held this 23 August.
But it will not
be a celebration of ‘discourses and remembered
nostalgias.’ Orochena invited all those who had participated
in the original crusade to
accompany us in what was once the 19th
July Plaza, the historic center of the crusade. Among plans for
the coming year, the ALCM intends to reclaim and re-open the Literacy
Museum, to encourage the municipality of Managua at least to declare
August 23 a holiday, to establish a National Literacy Day, to research
the actual levels of illiteracy in the various departments of the
country, and, together with the ministry, the municipalities and the
National Assembly, to develop a new literacy crusade.