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ERIC Number: ED464801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 45
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1020-0800
Breaking Through: TOSTAN's Non-Formal Basic Education Programme in National Languages in Senegal. Education for All: Making It Work. Innovation Series.
Guttman, Cynthia
Since 1988, thousands of rural villagers across Senegal have participated in a basic education program called TOSTAN, which means "breakthrough" in Wolof, the majority language. Supported by UNICEF and implemented in the six national languages of Senegal, TOSTAN goes beyond traditional literacy programs to link literacy learning with life skills and participatory learning methods. The 18-month program comprises 6 learning modules, each covering 24 sessions and lasting 2 months. Influenced by the whole-language approach, the program exposes learners to real texts and encourages them to write. Learning to read, write, and do mathematics is tied to the improvement of local living conditions and is adapted to the needs of rural women. The first module presents a five-step problem-solving process, which is used throughout the other modules to address specific issues. The other modules cover hygiene and disease prevention, prevention of dehydration from diarrhea and child immunizations, basic financial and material management skills, leadership and group dynamics, and feasibility of income-generating projects. Program facilitators come from the local area and have completed intensive training. They are advised by trainers who cover 10-13 villages and who work closely with development agents and local authorities. Recently the program was adapted and expanded to serve adolescents. Evaluations, funding issues, and the wider benefits of the program for Senegalese society are discussed. (Contains photographs.) (SV)
UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France (out of stock, available in photocopy form only). Tel: 33-1-45-68-10-29; Fax: 33-1-45-68-56-24; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France). Education for All Forum Secretariat.; United Nations Children's Fund, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: Senegal