Algeria winning in war against illiteracy

18% illiteracy in 2013 versus 22.3% in 2008

09 January, 15:37

(ANSAmed) - ROME, 09 JAN - 50 years after gaining independence from France Algeria is winning the battle against illiteracy. According to a report presented Tuesday in Algiers, illiteracy rates in 2013 - which are calculated on school data, dipped to just under 18%, down from 22.3% in 2008. It might appear slight, but the fall is symbolic of a huge government effort into fighting the problem.

Not only are illiterate people difficult to track down, they often need to be persuaded to sidestep cultural barriers which rate money over education, and to take part in illiteracy programs.

ßßAccording to the report illiteracy rates will continue to decline in the coming years, reaching 14.76% in 2015 and as low as 12% in 2018. Experts are hopeful - if cautious, that the problem could be wiped out for good by 2016. On this track, the three organisers of the study - the Iqra association, the national Center for Population and Development (CENEAP) and mobile phone operator Nedjma - seem to agree. But that is not to forget the cause of the phenomenon. "132 years of colonialism can't be erased in 50 years", said a CENEAP source. In 1830, before French colonialists took over rates were as low as 14%. Following the systematic erosion of the Algerian education systems under French rule, illiteracy rates between 1948 and 1955 shot up to 94%, only to dip slightly to 85% in 1962, the year of independence. (ANSAMed)
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