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Numeracy in Guinea

In the Maninka language of eastern Guinea, the word 'wakali' means courage, perseverance, stubbornness. If you want to encourage someone, you might say "i wakali!" - don't give up! When our Guinean partner EADG started an empowerment literacy programme for adults who have never had the chance to go to school, they chose to name the initiative "Project Wakali". We think that's very fitting.

The first ALEF learning materials in Maninka were created in autumn 2022. Now the pilot groups are almost done with the first level, and ALEF Education Coordinator Adam Bott is leading a workshop in Kankan to develop lesson plans and learning materials for level 2.

In an ALEF Level 2 course, the focus is on practical mathematics. The aim is not just to master written arithmetic, but to be able to use maths to deal with everyday challenges. As in all ALEF courses, each lesson is based on a short realistic story that the group reads and discusses together. They reflect on the content of the text and agree on how best to deal with similar challenges in their community. At level 2, each story also contains a maths problem, and the text is accompannied by a series of exercises that participants solve with the help of the group leader.

Most participants in the study groups in Guinea are farmers and small traders who have to support a large family on a small and unstable income. Being able to plan purchases and expenses, keep track of household finances, and manage debts, are truly life-changing skills.


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