UNESCO chief hails India’s commendable strides in literacy campaign

November 29th, 2007 - 7:23 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 29 (ANI): UNESCO’s Director General Koichiro Matsuura on Thursday praised India for the successful implementation of Education For All (EFA) campaign in the country.
“India is among the countries that have made remarkable stride since 2000 towards EFA, with a range of targeted initiatives that reach disadvantaged children, youth and adults across the country,” Koichiro said.
Speaking at a conference here, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, also elaborated on the benefits of education and its contribution to facilitate economic progress of a country.
Literacy is a basic human right, a fundamental entitlement. It enables people to be aware of their rights. It is a force against superstition and bigotry. It is a great liberator. Literacy is basic to gender equality. It is a critical contributor to rapid economic growth to equitable, inclusive, economic and social development,” Sonia said.
UNESCO had launched the Education For All movement in 1990 with the aim of providing education for all children, youth and adults. Six key education goals were identified, which aim to meet the needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015.
Of the 127 countries for which UNESCO collected data, 101 are still far from achieving universal literacy and 72 will not succeed in having adult literacy levels by 2015.
Globally, over 770 million adults-two-thirds of which are women, lack basic literacy skills.
The situation is critical in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, where a lot needs to be achieved to ensure education for all sections of society.
However, according to UNESCO, India has still managed to make some progress in making educational facilities accessible to people even at the grassroots level.
The countries of South and South West Asia have the highest number of illiterates in the world, and out of the 388 million adults in this region who cannot read and write 63.5 per cent are women.
The literacy rate in the sub-region has however increased by 25 per cent over the past two decades - the most rapid rise in the world.
Countries have seen a 22 percent increase in the number of children enrolled in primary school.
All countries with data in the region have improved girls’ access to primary education with noteworthy progress in India and Nepal.
UNESCO is committed to focus on countries that face greatest literacy challenges and that include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Iran and Pakistan in the South and West Asia region. (ANI)

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