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Tue Aug 23, 2016, 12:17 AM

The three Rs: How Bolivia combats illiteracy

The three Rs: How Bolivia combats illiteracy

By Fellipe Abreu and Luiz Felipe Silva
El Alto, Bolivia

21 August 2016

Fellipe Abreu

Quintim Pulma was not allowed to learn to read and write when he was a boy

"Reading and writing were forbidden," says Quintim Pulma, 83.

Mr Pulma, a former policeman dressed elegantly in a slightly worn jacket and wearing a black hat, recalls the days when he was growing up in rural Bolivia: "I lived at the farm at which my parents worked and the owner threatened that if I went to school, he'd cut my tongue out."

But now things are different for Mr Pulma.

"These days, I can study and prove to people that I'm capable of doing anything," he says.

Mr Pulma is one of 39 elderly students in a literacy group in El Alto, Bolivia's second largest city.


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