More Come Under Literacy Umbrella

More Come Under Literacy UmbrellaMore Come Under Literacy Umbrella

The Education Ministry in cooperation with the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO) plans to bring 420,000 illiterate people under its coverage by the end of the next academic year in September 2017.

“Based on the agreement with the ministry, 420,000 illiterates will be educated within the framework of the free adult literacy program,” said Ali Baqerzadeh, deputy education minister and head of the LMO.

Half this number are absolute illiterates while the remaining are undereducated (having finished some level in the primary school), ILNA reported.

“As per the agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the LMO also plans to cover 13,500 refugees,” said the official.

Established in 1984, the LMO was created to check the high rate of illiteracy at the time and since then over 8 million people have been educated. Among the 3.45 million illiterates at present, around 1 million are absolute illiterates.

According to Baqerzadeh, the free adult literacy programs have seen a 2.5-fold increase in 2015, compared to the prior two years.

Last year that ended in March, nearly 512,000 people were covered under the LMO programs, and included 281,000 who were absolute illiterates. At present, 98.2% of people in the age group 15-24 years and 88.47% in the age group 25-64 years have acquired reading and writing skills.

As of September 2015, 93% of the adult Iranian population is literate as against 85%, in 2008, well ahead of the regional average of 62%. This rate increases to 97% among young adults (aged between 15 and 24) without any gender discrepancy.

While the literacy rate among Iranians 10-49 years is 97%, wide-ranging illiteracy in the six provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, West Azarbaijan, Kerman, Kordestan, Northern Khorasan and Lorestan, has nudged the provincial authorities to take action in promoting literacy campaigns under local programs in each district.

The effects of illiteracy have a severe impact on livelihoods necessitating higher priority to empower the uneducated strata through literacy programs. Nearly 50% of the LMO activities are concentrated in rural areas, benefitting 80% of rural women.

“Education for all is our slogan, whether in cities or rural areas,” Baqerzadeh said.