The Cuban government awarded literacy certificates to a second group of Australian Aborigines who learned to read and write thanks to the Cuban "Yes I Can" method in Wilcannia, a town in the Australian state of New South Wales, state media reported.

The graduation ceremony brought together some 80 people "including those who had just finished the course and others who had previously completed it, all with the guidance of experts from Cuba," the AIN state news agency said.

In May, the first group of 10 Aborigines between ages 25-53 had shed their illiteracy and finished the course in Wilcannia, located some 965 kilometers (600 miles) northwest of Sidney on the edge of the desert.

Taking part in the ceremony for awarding the certificates were local officials and lawmakers who expressed their admiration for the system used, given its potential for improving the community's standard of living, AIN said.

They also urged the extension of the program to other places of similar cultural origins as well as its continuation to higher educational levels.

Cuban Ambassador to Australia Pedro Monzon presented the certificates to the graduates who, with a speech they wrote themselves, expressed gratitude to the Caribbean island and particularly to adviser Jose Chala, the Cuban who for months had coordinated the program in the Aboriginal community.

Wilcannia is a village of some 700 inhabitants who are mostly Aborigines, with a supermarket and a few streets of housing.

Some 60 percent of the population is jobless and the community is plagued with poverty, vandalism, domestic violence and alcoholism.

The "Yes I Can" method was developed by the Cuban Institute of Pedagogy for Latin America and the Caribbean, or IPLAC, and in 2006 received the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

The program has been applied in 28 countries including Nicaragua and East Timor, and has benefited more than 6 million people around the world.

IPLAC officials told Efe that the language used in the literacy program for Australian Aborigines was English. EFE