Cablegate: Mepi - Arabic Book Translation Program, Amembassy

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 145089

1. Post requests inclusion in the Arabic Book Translation

Answers to Questions

2. PAO, John Balian, recently spoke with officials from the
Ministry of Education regarding the proposed project.

3. MOE officials were enthusiastic about the program and
promised cooperation with Amembassy Sanaa in planning and
implementation of the project.

4. Post will work with appropriate host government officials
so that schools are ready to participate in the initial pilot
project to be launched in Fall 2003.

5. Host country is receptive to participating in both the
primary school and (future) upper grade programs.

6. Post believes that the classroom library set-up will be

7. Although the MOE does not have sufficient funds to offer
financial buy-in to the project, MOE is fully prepared to
work with Amembassy Sanaa in school selection and other forms
of cooperation necessary to make the project successful.

8. Post does not currently know the number of schools that
could be impacted by the initial roll-out of the program but
due to the desperate need of additional educational/reading
materials in the country's school system, the future impact
of the program could be impressive.

9. There is no local facility that can be used for printing
of the books.

10. Post would work with media outlets in Yemen, in
cooperation with the ROYG to insure wide-spread media
coverage in all of the areas where the program is

11. The USG's profile in the roll-out of the program should
be high once books are actually donated to schools and
classroom libraries are established.

Education in Yemen

12. Basic education and literacy is a fundamental component
of Post's MEPI strategy as there are many areas of education
that need to be addressed in Yemen. Only half of all Yemeni
children aged 6 to 11 enroll in schools, the literacy rate,
especially in the rural areas, is as high as 91 percent for
married women, and teachers often have minimum
qualifications. The 2000/1 Education Survey estimated that
only 60 percent of teachers have just basic education, or at
most, one to two years of secondary school.

13. Education has not historically been considered essential
among many Yemenis. However, the Yemeni Government is working
to improve the educational system. The ROYG Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper states that education is a key
factor in creating sustainable economic and social
development. The education strategy in Yemen focuses on
improving the quality of education, improving the management
of the educational system, giving priority to basic education
and focusing on girls' education.

14. The Arabic Book Translation Program will work to help the
ROYG meet these objectives and will help meet some of the
education needs of the country, especially in rural areas
where illiteracy is most prevalent.


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