Community learning centers: an effective tool for development
Since CLCs are community-based, community participation is essential to ensure the success of their activities. But there is low participation of community members in the planning, implementation and management of CLC activities.
Community development is an integral part of national development. Without community development, the goal of national development can hardly be achieved. With this in mind, community learning centers (CLCs) were set up in the country in the 1990s. These CLCs are set up by the Resource Center for Education and Human Development under the Ministry of Education.
At first, the concept of one CLC per constituency emerged, followed by the concept of one CLC per municipality and VDC, resulting in the creation of over 1000 CLCs at a time. There are now 2,151 CLCs nationwide.
CLCs are community organizations managed, managed and controlled by the communities themselves. However, they are often supported, both financially and technically, by government and non-government agencies. UNESCO has been supporting the CLC program since 1998. Their activities are designed to be compatible with the community context in order to meet the demands of the communities.
Basically, the aim of CLCs is to provide education to children deprived of formal education, illiterate or semi-literate youth and adults, especially from disadvantaged communities. CLCs aim not only to enable people to read and write only, but also to equip them with knowledge and skills so that they can stand up and improve their livelihoods.
The scope of CLCs is wide. Its objectives go beyond the bailiwick of basic and functional literacy, post-literacy, continuing education and lifelong education and include various activities such as early childhood education; communication and social interaction; livelihood skills training and income generation support; health aspects such as HIV / AIDS, maternal health, infant mortality, family planning, personal hygiene, sanitation, reproductive health and family nutrition; civic education such as leadership, human rights awareness, democratic governance, conflict management and resolution, and gender education; and environmental management and conservation.
CLCs are an integral part of communities. For effective results, they must be well organized, dignified, transparent and participatory. Collaboration, participation, inclusion, transparency, equality and coexistence are their cherished principles. They are not only part of non-formal education, but can help communities in other ways as well. They can aid community development by mobilizing local resources, preserving the environment, managing solid waste, providing forums for the elderly, and maintaining and promoting traditional knowledge, language, culture and customs. social and manners for posterity, among others.
In the current federal context, the CLCs come under local authorities. In fact, they are treated as a support unit for local organizations. They have powers of approval, control and regulation. It foreshadowed an open and alternative education. Here, CLCs can be helpful in organizing the above programs for out-of-school youth, women and the underprivileged.
Although CLCs are the engine of community development, there are many challenges to overcome to make these organizations effective as in other countries like Bangladesh, Japan and Thailand where these organizations thrive well. There is a lack of resources – human, financial and material – for effective management of CLCs. CLCs have to depend on volunteers, who are often underpaid, thus demotivating them to work for organizations. This is because highly skilled and professional people choose formal educational institutions over CLCs.
The links and coordination between the CLCs and the development agencies engaged at the local level are insufficient, which hinders the proper functioning of the activities of the CLCs. Since CLCs are community-based, community participation is essential to ensure the success of their activities. But there is little participation of community members in the planning, implementation and management of CLC activities. CLCs are unable to meet long-term community needs. CLCs often depend on external funding because they are unable to mobilize resources, both financial and material, internally. There is no well-defined national policy or central agency to guide and coordinate CLCs. In addition, some politicians or leaders may use CLCs for their personal interests, thus hampering their proper development.
CLCs are an important component of community development. Those who work for such organizations should be motivated by various incentives, including a good salary. CLCs can be used as an effective tool to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals as they contribute to SDG 4, which includes, among others, literacy, education and skills development. The country also aims to move from a less developed country to a developing one by 2022. It is undeniable that education plays a key role in development. The government should therefore take effective measures to strengthen the CLCs, as well as adequate remuneration for their instructors or facilitators, so that they can build their capacities and operate and manage their activities more effectively and their role in community development can be achieved. be further amplified.