Illiteracy rate in Capital is lowest in Arab world

Illiteracy rate in Capital is lowest in Arab world

ABU DHABI — Illiteracy rate among Emiratis fell to six per cent last year, according to the data released by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) on Saturday.



The illiteracy rate in Abu Dhabi reduced from 75.12 per cent in 1971 to 12.08 per cent in 2000 and only six per cent in 2011, one of the lowest rates in the Arab world, where the average in 2009 was 27.3 per cent.

Historically, formal education in Abu Dhabi began in the 1960s, but the rapid development of this sector started in 1971, the year in which the UAE was formed and the Ministry of Education and Youth was created. Over the decades, both government and private education gradually grew and improved.

The number of students per teacher was 13.8 during 2010-11. —KT file photo for illustrative purpose

In the academic year 2010-2011, the SCAD counted 480 schools (299 government and 181 were private) with 13,528 classrooms throughout the emirate. In the same time, there were 22,218 teachers for 306,497 pupils. The number of students per teacher was 13.8 and the number of students per classroom was 22.7.

Special emphasis has always been on educating the Emirati female population, which officially started in the academic year 1963-64 with 131 girls enrolled in schools in the emirate. This number continued to increase dramatically in the following decades, exceeding 150,000 in 2011, with girls considerably outnumbering boys in government schools. The ratio of female to male pupils in all stages of general education has continually and gradually grown, rising from zero per cent in the school year 1960-1961 to 95.9 per cent in the school year 2010-2011, during which total enrolment stood at 306,479 students, of whom 150,010 were females. The ratio was significantly higher (109.5 per cent) in government schools, while it was 87.4 per cent in private schools.

In 2007-2008 the dropout rate in all grades of the first cycle of government education was 0.7 per cent, and the corresponding rate for males and females was 1.0 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively. The dropout rate increases with education stage, with 0.7 per cent dropping out in the first education cycle, increasing to 1.3 per cent for the second education cycle, and finally increasing to 4.1 per cent for the secondary education stage. These figures represent both Emirati and non-Emirati students in the emirate.

In 2010-2011 the number of students who progressed from primary to secondary school was 18,387, of which 9,231 were boys and 9,156 were girls.

In the last academic year, the number of literacy centres and adult education facilities remained at 114. Home schooling was introduced in 77 locations.

According to the preliminary results of Abu Dhabi Census 2011, the distribution of the population by educational attainment shows that 138,478 people met the criteria for illiteracy, of whom 101,220 were males and 37,258 were females.

The percentage distribution of illiteracy among males, females and overall was 7.4, 7.6 and 7.5 respectively. The corresponding figure showing the distribution of illiteracy amongst the citizens for males, females and overall was 3.5 per cent, 8.7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. — silvia@khaleejtimes.com


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