Significant Progress in Reducing Illiteracy

Significant Progress  in Reducing IlliteracySignificant Progress  in Reducing Illiteracy

The literacy rate of girls is 1.2% lower than boys in the country, said Education Minister Ali-Asghar Fani, pointing out that there are families who “are still reluctant to send their daughters to schools for social, economic and cultural reasons.”

Speaking at a national conference on the global ‘Education for All (EFA) 2000-2015’ document held at Manzariyeh Campground in Tehran, he said, “I hope the sharing of experience will help us achieve the goals of the global plan.”

According to UNESCO’s EFA global monitoring report, Iran has made significant progress over the past five years in reducing illiteracy within the framework of the document.

The first goal of the plan was to expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

In order to achieve the goal, pre-primary courses were planned and implemented all over the country, particularly in rural areas.

“Last year, 667,000 children enrolled in pre-primary programs of whom 146,000 were from rural areas and 35,500 from deprived areas; thus, the country’s pre-primary education coverage has reached 58%,” Fani said.

 Remote Regions

He also pointed to the second goal of the plan which is to ensure that all children, particularly girls and also children in deprived areas have access to complete, free and compulsory primary education. “Unfortunately, girls’ literacy rate is still 1.2% lower than that of boys; however, gender discrimination in education has declined dramatically after implementation of the EFA plan.”

Fani said to increase the rate of literacy across the country and provide equal access to basic education, schools have been established even in remote regions. “There are 110 schools with one student each in the remote regions.”

Additionally, 4,800 schools with less than five students have been opened.  “Despite being expensive to run the schools, our emphasis is on eradicating illiteracy,” the minister said.

In 2000, 164 countries gathered at the World Forum for Education in Senegal, and devised the 15-year plan to enhance global literacy.

UNESCO monitored and assessed the progress of member states in achieving the EFA goals.