Literacy Programs Expand

Literacy Programs ExpandLiteracy Programs Expand

Nearly 450,000 illiterate people will be covered under the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO) programs by the end of the current academic year in September 2017.

“Based on an agreement with the Education Ministry, some 450,000 illiterates were to be educated within the framework of the free adult literacy program,” said Ali Baqerzadeh, deputy education minister and head of the LMO, on Wednesday.

Almost half the numbers were absolute illiterates and they have finished their courses. The remaining are undereducated (who had studied up to primary school), and will complete the courses by the start of the new school year, ILNA reported.

As per an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the LMO will 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. Its main functions include the provision of adult education and education for children outside the formal learning system, training instructors, promoting cultural awareness and attracting dropouts.

Among the nearly 10 million illiterates and undereducated people in Iran at present, around 1 million are absolute illiterates.

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

The LMO also grants cash incentives to people who finish their designated courses. The amount usually is around 1.34 million rials ($40) for students who pass their final exams.

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

Last year that ended in March, nearly 512,000 people were covered under the LMO programs, including 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.

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.

LMO’s slogan is ‘Education for All’, regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity.

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