Involving Private Sector to Combat Illiteracy

Involving Private Sector  to Combat IlliteracyInvolving Private Sector  to Combat Illiteracy

The head of the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO) says the best way to fight illiteracy in the country is to hand over educational services to the private educational sector, albeit at a cost.

Ali Bagherzadeh, speaking at a press conference, said statistics show “illiteracy occurs when access to education becomes limited.” He asked private educational institutions to collaborate with the education ministry and the LMO to eradicate illiteracy, Mehr News Agency reported.

Institutions can approach LMO offices country-wide and make a request “to purchase the educational services,” he said.

Bagherzadeh, who is also the education minister’s deputy noted that 15% of the population over 6 years is illiterate and added that the society needs to become sensitive towards illiteracy. “Raising public awareness on the issue is on the LMO agenda.”

The border provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan, West Azerbaijan, and Kurdistan top the list of provinces with the largest number of illiterates. On the other hand, Fars Province has acquired a balanced rate of literacy and education. In Fars, 540,000 people cannot read and write and another 640,000 are educated up to the primary school level. After evaluation, it was found that 80,000 people in the province are in need of enrolling in the literacy programs. The province ranks 8th in illiteracy.

 Employment Plan

Bagherzadeh pointed to a plan to employ teacher assistants or volunteer teachers and said: “All teaching assistants who took part in the LMO educational programs have been employed. The education method “is face to face and pays about $300 (8,000,000 rials) per person.”

“Those interested in educating people can register with the LMO and receive the payment for teaching a person to read and write. This way the illiteracy issue is addressed and many jobs are created as well,” said Bagherzadeh.

He asserted that “there is no limitation in funding educational programs for adults and emphasized the necessity of using the capacity of the private sector in this area.”

The education of the nomadic community is a high priority. “Education of foreign nationals such as Afghans whose education status is poor is also a matter of importance.”

About 40% of Afghans have been deprived of any sort of education, while 700,000 have benefitted from the literacy programs, he added.  


According to LMO statistics there are 10 million illiterates in the country, 4 million of who are under the age of 50. “We are not in a good position; currently the average school years in our country is seven and a half years, which puts us in the 111th place globally,” Fararu website said in an article recently quoting Bagherzadeh.

 No motivation

Bagherzadeh said the real challenge facing the LMO is lack of motivation among the targeted groups. “These people have the facilities and the opportunity, but not the will. Providing them with incentives such as free classes, distributing free books, bags and stationery and adjusting class hours to learner’s demands has not done much to encourage the illiterate masses. Now, the last resort seems to be “compulsory measures,” he said.

It has been reported that from the year 2016, those under the age of 50 who won’t sign up for literacy programs “will face some social deprivation, not restricted to state privileges alone but will also include social services as well.” The punitive measures could open new doors in the campaign against illiteracy, which is also widespread in the suburban areas and more prevalent among children of divorcees, orphans, street kids and those growing up in dysfunctional families.