Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Arab fund assists UNESCO practical projects

by M. Lawani, UNESCO Features

A printing plant in the Caribbean, a coastal survey launch in Arabia and educational projects in Africa will come into being thanks to Unesco undertakings financed by Arab countries of the Gulf.

AGFUND (Arab Gulf Countries Programme for United Nations Development Organisations) is providing $1.4 million to make possible these activities in different parts of the world. The money was allocated when the AGFUND administrative council met in Riyadh last October.

Jamaica will get $300,000 to aid production of textbooks. The Gleaner newspaper group in Jamaica will undertake the printing and distribution of the books, using low-cost techniques and good quality newsprint. Some 8,000,000 primary-school books and teacher guides are to be distributed yearly for three years. They are intended to reach about 350,000 children and 10,000 teachers.

Mauritania will receive a school textbook printing press for the National Pedagogical Institute at Nouakchott. Installing the press and training personnel to run it and a book distribution centre is expected to be completed by 1986. AGFUND is providing $400,000 to pay for the project which should provide schoolbooks and other reading material for about 200,000 people.

Curriculum and teacher training reform in Zimbabwe is to be aided by $200,000 for seminars, workshops, and fellowships in curriculum development and teacher education. Residential and correspondence courses will be provided for 2,000 teachers and 250 teacher trainers. These are expected in turn to instruct respectively about 150,000 children and 2,000 trainee teachers.

Last, the United Nations Institute for Namibia, situated in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, will receive $280,000 towards preparation of basic education services for an independent Namibia. Unesco will provide technical backstopping for this project through its Sub-Regional Education Adviser in Zimbabwe and its representative to Zambia

talking drums 1985-02-11 open letter to rawlings