The beginning of the 20th century found the Romanian nation with a literacy rate that placed it among the least educated ones in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With almost no initiative to educate the masses of illiterate adults registered in its divisions in the period 1900–1906, the year 1907, with its national-political implications, determined ASTRA to speed up the organization of literacy courses in all its territorial sectors of those who have reached maturity. Started with high hopes, the results were quite modest, although ASTRA tried to motivate the teachers with prizes and to attract, in the organization of school classes, the support of the bishops of the two Romanian churches. Subsequently, as ASTRA intervened annually with a circular to mobilize the responsible factors, the results began to improve. In addition, in order to ease the task of the organizers, ASTRA also established a contest for the editing of the most skilful ABC, from which it distributed, as support material, free of charge to the departments in order to support the development of the courses in optimal conditions. From the category of those who benefited from the attention of some occasional teachers and, later, of ASTRA, were also the Romanian soldiers recruited in the units of the Austro-Hungarian army. Started at the initiative of the leadership of the imperial army, at the head of the primary training program of illiterate soldiers were comrades, with experience in pedagogical activities, officers or military priests. If in the first years of the twentieth century, various textbooks were used for their primary instruction, after the publication of the ABC signed by teacher Ioan Bota, ASTRA became the main supplier of support material and for learning to read and write by illiterate Romanian soldiers.
education, literacy, classes, ASTRA, ABCs, soldiers.