100% literacy by 2024: Saudi Arabia

January 13, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

Jeddah — Saudi Arabia plans to eradicate illiteracy by 2024.

The illiteracy rate in the Kingdom was 60% in 1972, but in 2018 the illiteracy rate is less than 5.6%, according to government data.

The Kingdom has made great strides in adult education and literacy programs over the years.

The Kingdom established the Adult Education and Literacy System in 1972. It established the General Secretariat for Adult Education and Literacy in 1977.

These moves paid dividends as the Kingdom won the King Sejong Prize for Literacy in 1986, the Unesco Prize for the Eradication of Cultural Illiteracy in 1996 and the Noma Literacy Prize in 1997.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is now the driving force behind a number of education reforms.

This year’s budget allocated SR192 billion on the education sector.

This year Saudi students will take part in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) for the first time. The test is issued every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to 15-year-olds across the globe to measure reading, maths and science comprehension.

On Jan. 8 of each year, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) celebrates Arab Literacy Day, proclaimed by the Arab League in 1970 as part of its major projects designed to provide universal primary education, combat illiteracy, and raise awareness of the need to enhance girls’ education and to promote the family and society.

The proclamation of the Arab Literacy Day coincided with the establishment of a special literacy body called “Regional Literacy Organization”. This body, which was later developed and annexed to ALECSO, and whose name was changed, in July 1972, into the “Arab Literacy and Adult Education Organization”, has established various relevant strategies, plans and scientific references.

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