UAE targets total literacy

ABU DHABI - The UAE Government has pledged to eradicate illiteracy in seven years in its efforts to become the first Arab country to attain total literacy.

By Team Kt (With inputs from Wam)

Published: Sun 16 Mar 2008, 8:32 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:45 PM

The country hopes to overcome illiteracy by 2015, or even before, reported Al Ittihad Arabic daily quoting officials at the Ministry of Education.

A recent survey showed that the illiteracy rate was on the decline in the UAE, down from 22 per cent in 2000 to nine per cent in 2005. Across an area stretching from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Gulf, there are over 100 million Arabs who are not able to read and write, according to a statistical report prepared by Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO).

Currently, there are thousands of nationals pursuing formal learning at 86 adult education centres across the country. Many of them are above 50 years of age. A large number of graduates from these evening schools have enrolled for higher education at various universities.

The evening classes are conducted in women’s associations, social welfare organisations, adult education and family welfare associations and women’s clubs, Dr Abdul Jalil Oqail, head of Students Affairs Section in the Ministry of Education, said in Ras Al Khaimah yesterday.

Of the 86 adult education centres in the country, seven are in Ras Al Khaimah alone in which 3,474 men and women attend classes, he said.

The presence of these centres is an evidence of the keen interest of the government to bring down the rate of illiteracy among nationals, he added.

The number of those who have completed the secondary studies is continuously on the rise, Dr Oqail said.

He said an increasing number of self-taught students and external examinees were office employees who wanted to improve their educational status for better prospects.

The government has provided an opportunity for Arab expatriates to complete their education and get admission to the adult education centres where GCC citizens are treated on par with UAE nationals, he said.

“The main reason for getting admission to the adult education classes was my desire to complete my study for I am still young,” said an adult student Amna Mohammed Salem Al Shehi.

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