Adult Literacy Programme (ALP) classes were conducted in 3 stages:
When we first entered the villages, ALP classes were purely voluntary with whosoever wishing to do so attending. These voluntary classes introduced an every evening activity in the villages and ADATS/DDS staff and the coolies came to know each other.
These classes led to the making of membership lists of 1 person per family to form the CSUs. The idea of regular and weekly CSU Meetings with minutes formally recorded and a quorum of twothird the membership insisted upon was also introduced. VLWs were identified and appointed during these voluntary ALP classes. In other words, these initial ALP classes served to introduce the systems and procedures of the Coolie Sangha in the villages.
Literacy, during those 36 months, was only an incidental objective.
Once the CSUs were formed with definite membership lists and fixed meeting days, compulsory ALP classes were conducted for 612 months. 1 adult over the age of 25 years had to compulsorily attend from each member family, though attendance was often much higher. Continuous and deliberate absence, on the other hand, resulted in the family’s membership being suspended.
2 impartial tests were conducted by central teams during the course of the 1st ALP Book, at dates asked for by the teachers and learners. More often than not, the 1st ALP Book was completed in this phase and many learners went on to the 2nd ALP Book. Proficiency in the 1st ALP Book qualified them for being recognised as functionally literate. Going through the 2nd ALP Book enabled them to even write and peruse the very complicated CSU and Cluster Minutes Books!
In the 2nd and 3rd years, special rounds of ALP classes were conducted for 612 months. This time it was exclusively for coolie women. Though women were not barred from attending the earlier 2 rounds voluntary and compulsory men were not allowed to attend these special classes for women. Apart from a lot of women learning, we were also able to identify and appoint quite a few women Village Level Workers at this stage, thereby enriching our human infrastructure.
In many villages, the 2nd ALP Book was simultaneously, but at different locations, being taught to a mixed group of learners who had finished the 1st Book.
After having completed the 1st ALP Book, learners were given an opportunity to use the 2nd ALP Book if they so wished. Though ADATS/DDS did not make this compulsory many CSUs in the Chickballapur area did.