Ahvaz, Khuzestan prov, Dec 29, IRNA-Director General of Planning, Coordination and International Affairs Department of the Literacy Movement, Ali Ebrahimian, said on Thursday that Iran has a good status of literacy in Asia, given that less than two percent of the continent's illiterates are in this country.
He told IRNA that over 70 percent of the world illiterates are in Asian countries, among which Iran has the lowest rate.
"Twenty seven years after the formation of Literacy Movement in Iran, its illiteracy rate stands at 13.5 percent, which is equivalent to a population of eight million.
"The national illiteracy rate is expected to drop to less than 10 percent by the end of the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan (2005-2010) and the strategic literacy plan," he added.
He noted that according to statistics released by the Ministry of Education, the Literacy Movement is in charge of educating children who fail to be enrolled at primary schools each year. He put the number of such children at 300,000.
"At present, Sistan-Baluchestan, East Azarbaijan and Hormuzgan provinces have the lowest rate of illiteracy, while Isfahan and Tehran have the highest.
"Given Iran's expertise in the field in cooperation with UNESCO and the relevant bodies, we are now cooperating with Afghanistan in this respect and seven instructors have so long been dispatched to the country to help educate 1,000 Afghans," added the official.
Ebrahimian pointed to the project as part of Iran's commitments to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
He added that taking part in establishment of local training centers as well as compiling and publishing text books in Afghanistan are some of the measures taken by Iran.
"Opening a data processing center for Afghan and Asian girls and women in cooperation with UNESCO in Tehran is another such undertaking," he concluded.
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