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NLPN targets out-of-school youth as well as illiterate and disadvantaged adults.Its aim is to enable them to participate effectively in national development.

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Stage 3 is equivalent to Grade 4 in the formal primary education system and is the last stage in the Adult Basic Literacy Programme.It is dedicated to developing basic and functional English skills for general communication, and the task of literacy promoters is to create an environment conducive to the development of these skills.In addition, an emphasis is also placed on reinforcing developmental and livelihood activities.To this end, DAE works in close cooperation with the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), Regional Literacy Officers (RLOs) and District Literacy Organisers (DLOs).This decentralised structure of programme development and implementation has made it possible for NLPN to strike a balance between national, regional and/or local interests and needs as well as to develop learning materials in the eleven (11) main national languages, as well as in English.The programme was built on a long tradition of literacy and adult education campaign dating back to the early activities of the missionaries but most importantly, to the Literacy Campaign (SLC) of the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO), and NGOs such as the Namibia Literacy Programme and the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN).

All of these programmes were initiated during the struggle for liberation.

60% of the population live below the poverty threshold.

The 1991 census revealed that about 300 000 - 400 000 people or 35% of the entire population was illiterate.

Unlike the basic literacy programme, AUPE has its own curriculum which includes general knowledge in addition to language and numeracy.

The “language of business” is also an important component of this curriculum. There are four compulsory and two optional courses.

NLPN was initially funded by the Dutch, Swedish and Namibian Governments but is now wholly funded and facilitated by the Government of Namibia through the Ministry of Education.