Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia has drawn up a ten year plan to eradicate illiteracy and educate adult citizens it will implement at the start of the upcoming school year. This latest plan has been subjected to vigorous trials in the past two years. A source in the Ministry indicated the authorities “want to stamp out illiteracy among the 10 to 45 year old by 2013.”
The official added that the Ministry will launch the project “ Mecca without illiteracy” to coincide with the city being named the capital of Islamic culture, after the plan has been successfully implemented in Medina earlier this year. He said, “The Minsitry has taken a series of steps in the last few years to combat illiteracy and encourage adult education. It has devised a number of programs that will fit the needs of illiterate Saudis.” The source confirmed some plans have already been applied across the Kingdom “lowering the illiteracy rate to 7.47% in 2003 among males, with a slightly higher rate for females because of problems related to the education of girls.”
In addition, the Ministry spokesman announced “a number of achievements in tackling the problem of illiteracy.” He said the government is proud to announce that 4900 citizens have been taught the basics of reading and writing in the previous year alone. He added that the ten year plan was flexible and could be executed across the Kingdom at any designated time according to a well rehearsed program. It reaches urban and rural areas alike, with inhabitants of remote areas in Saudi Arabia being taught in a summer long awareness campaign. Finally, the official noted that the annual literacy program targets public and private sector workers with lessons provided during the working day.