LMO Extending Programs for Parents

A total of 94,000 illiterate parents were identified to be covered by the LMO.
A total of 94,000 illiterate parents were identified to be covered by the LMO.

In line with plans to extend literacy coverage across the country, the Literacy Movement Organization is holding programs for illiterate parents of school students in reading and writing skills.

“A total of 94,000 illiterate parents were identified to be covered by the organization by the end of this academic year in June,” said Ali Baqerzadeh, deputy education minister and head of the LMO, ISNA reported.

The Education Ministry in cooperation with the LMO had announced last August that 420,000 illiterates would be covered under the literacy programs by the start of the next academic year in September 2017.

“Based on the agreement with the ministry, 420,000 illiterate people will be educated within the framework of the free adult literacy program,” Baqerzadeh had said then.

However, over 470,000 illiterate people were identified and enrolled in literacy programs. Half of them are absolute illiterates while the remaining are undereducated (having finished some level in the primary school). About 21,500 of them were under 19 years old.

“The figures show a 13% increase vis-à-vis the previous year,” Baqerzadeh noted. The free adult literacy programs saw a 2.5-fold increase in 2015, compared to the prior two years. 

Last fiscal year that ended in March 2016, nearly 512,000 people were covered under the LMO programs, and included 281,000 absolute illiterates. So far, 98.2% of people in the age group 15-24 years and 88.47% in the age group 25-64 years have reading and writing skills.

  Promoting Literacy

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 authorities to take action in promoting literacy campaigns under local programs.

“Yazd Province has been the leading province in terms of coverage and performance,” he said.

Programs have also reached out to the disabled population out of school. Over 7,500 people with disabilities were covered, of which 5,500 were absolute illiterates. Also, about 70% of all nomads are now literate. As per the agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the LMO plans to also cover 13,500 refugees.

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.

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.

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