Bolivia Prepares Literacy Programs in 36 Indigenous Languages


Next year Bolivia plans to kick off literacy programs in the 36 native languages recognized and spoken in the South American nation, the education ministry announced on Friday. 

"It's very clear that the issue of literacy needs to be diversified and strengthened. We have already started to work with some of them," the head of the illiteracy campaign, Ramiro Tolaba said to teleSUR. 

Tolaba also considers it necessary to create methodologies for teaching literacy to people with hearing and visual disabilities. "We need to make much more progress in this regard and the challenge is huge, but this is what the country needs," he added. 

During the past decade and under the government of President Evo Morales, illiteracy was reduced from 13.3 percent to 2.9, the lowest rate in the history of Bolivia.

President Morales, who is the country's first Indigenous president, has advanced Inidigenous rights in the country. Bolivia's Indigenous peoples constitute approximately 62 percent of the country's population of over 10 million. In 2008 he adopted the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bolivia's constitution states that the official languages are Spanish and all 36 languages spoken by the country's Indigenous nations. It also states that universities must implement programs for the recovery, preservation, development, and dissemination of learning these different languages.