World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UNESCO Calls for Greater Resources for Literacy

UNESCO Calls for Greater Government, Donor Resources for Universal Literacy

New York, Nov 10 2005 3:00PM

With more than 770 million adults living without basic literacy skills, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is calling on governments and donor countries to contribute more resources towards the Education for All (EFA) programme, thereby reducing poverty.

"The powerful links that exist between adult literacy and better health, higher income, more active citizenship and children's education should act as strong incentives for governments and donors to be much more proactive on addressing the literacy deficit," UNESCO's Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said yesterday on the release of the latest EFA report.

The fourth edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report finds that governments and donor countries are curtailing progress towards EFA – and broader poverty reduction – by according only marginal attention to the 771 million adults living without basic literacy skills.

The Education for All movement took off at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand. Since then, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and the media have taken up the cause of providing basic education for all children, youth and adults.

The Report calls for a dramatic scaling up of youth and adult literacy programmes. This will require more domestic resources; typically, governments only allocate 1 per cent of their national education budget to adult literacy. It estimates that some $26 billion dollars are needed over the next decade to make significant progress towards halving the level of adult illiteracy by the global goal of 2015.

On current trends, 30 out of 73 countries assessed are at serious risk of missing this goal, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa but also including Algeria, Guatemala, India, Nepal, Nicaragua and Pakistan.

According to the Report, three quarters of the world's adult illiterates live in 12 countries: India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Egypt, Brazil, Iran, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

South and West Asia has the lowest regional adult literacy rate at 58.6 per cent, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 59.7 per cent, and the Arab States with 62.7 per cent. Countries with the lowest adult literacy rates in the world are Burkina Faso with 12.8 per cent, Niger with 14.4 per cent and Mali with 19 per cent.

Reflecting deep-seated gender inequalities in many societies, women account for 64 per cent of the adults worldwide who cannot read or write with understanding. This figure is virtually unchanged from 63 per cent in 1990.

Although adult literacy rates doubled in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States and South and West Asia from 1970 to 2000, the rate of progress has slowed considerably since 1990. On present trends, only 86 per cent of the world's adults will be literate by 2015, up from 82 per cent today.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>