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UNESCO Seeks To Boost Literacy

UNESCO Seeks To Boost Literacy, Adult Education in Latin America and Caribbean

A three-day conference organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) begins today in Mexico City with the spotlight on literacy and adult education in Latin America and the Caribbean, where almost 40 million people lack the reading and writing skills needed for daily life and work.

The region is marked by sharp disparities in literacy rates, with 91 per cent of adults in Latin America able to read, compared to 74 per cent in the Caribbean.

The event, called “From Literacy to Lifelong Learning: Towards the Challenges of the 21st Century,” comes on the heels of World Literacy Day, which was commemorated on Monday.

According to UNESCO, some 110 million young people do not finish primary school, leaving them without the literary skills necessary to fully engage in their communities.

Education ministers, other government officials, experts, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others will review the issues pertaining to youth and adult literacy and learning, taking into account other goals such as poverty eradication, promoting peace and democracy and the need for justice and social cohesion.

The conference is one of five regional gatherings hosted by UNESCO ahead of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education next May in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Dominican song writer and performer Juan Luis Guerra has been named a UNESCO Artist for Peace, joining a host of other world-renowned personalities who work to promote the agency’s message and programmes.

UNESCO is bestowing this designation on Mr. Guerra, an internationally recognized merengue musician, in recognition of his work to benefit children with disabilities and children in need, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

Mr. Guerra will work with the agency for the next two years to promote UNESCO programmes in the field of education for handicapped children.


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