From literacy student to popular teacher: Post-literacy instruction in Nicaragua

Rosa María Torres
Vol 6, Number 2, p.52
The scope acquired by the National Literacy Crusade confirmed it not only as the most prominent educational event in Nicaragua’s history but also as one of the most relevant experiences in the historical struggle against illiteracy worldwide. Precisely because of its pervasive impact, there is still a tendency to believe that the National Literacy Crusade is the only revolutionary educational achievement of the new Nicaragua. As a matter of fact, the crusade came to an end, but adult education continues in Nicaragua. When Nicaragua completed its monumental task of teaching reading and writing, the Vice-Minieterio de Educacion de Adultoa was created, leading to a second task: post-literacy instruction. However, it is not a predetermined process or a simple sequence of stages. On the contrary, we are talking about a dynamic and innovative process that, like the Revolution itself, is setting its own course as it advances. In order for the Nicaraguan experience to catalyze reflection and action in the area of popular education in Latin America, it is necessary to see it not as a crystallized “model” but rather as what it really is: a highly complex and contradictory sociopolitical-pedagogical process: a living process reflecting permanent and necessary contradictions between reality and projects. The project itself is an expression of a revolutionary process meant to redefine the limits of what is possible, relying on the surest guarantee for achieving its goal: namely, popular participation.