Peace Corps Official
The Guide was originally produced by the Member Education Program (MEP) in December 1981, and was to be used by the Co-operative Inspectors for Education (CIEs). The CIEs had been trained to lead numeracy classes for members of agricultural co-ops. The Guide and its companion book, the Learner's Workbook, aim at enabling the farmer- learners to read the produce scale and calculate the receipts which are used when the farmers sell their crops to the co-op.
This idea of teaching such specific numeracy comes from discussions between farmer members and Department of Co-operation (DOC) staff. In those discussions, farmers stated their desire for such practical arithmetic skills. One of their greatest fears is of being cheated when selling their primary source of income--groundnuts.
In actual use, (during the period January 1982 to April 1983), the Guide appears to have been well suited to the task of guiding the CIE novice numeracy instructors. The problems which were encountered were due more to such factors as lack of direct supervision and over reliance on the Learner's Workbook as the primary instructional resource. The MEP staff has subsequently attempted to correct these problems by instituting an improved supervision system and introducing several new instructional techniques (e.g. picture stories, word problems, fun activities, and specific literacy activities) which are to be coordinated with the Learner's Workbook.
The unit-by-unit format of the Co-op Numeracy Facilitator's Guide should be fairly clear to even anew, inexperienced facilitator. The facilitator should complete each unit before moving on to the next. Some units might require more than one session to complete. Other techniques (e.g., the picture stories, etc. referred to above) should be brought in on occasion perhaps at the beginning or end of class) in order to make the sessions more varied and lively.