Nearly one in three people in the Arab world is illiterate, including nearly half of all women in the region, the Tunis-based Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation said Monday. Three-quarters of the 100 million people unable to read or write in the 21 Arab countries are aged between 15 and 45 years old, the Arab League group, known by its acronym ALECSO, said in a statement, cited by AFP.
Some 46.5 percent of women in the region are illiterate, the organisation declared, urging governments to put the fight against illiteracy at the top of their agendas.
While describing access to primary school education as "indispensable," it also called on Arab nations to focus on adult education to avoid "serious incidents in the evolution of (Arab) societies". ALECSO has previously sounded the alarm on illiteracy in the region, noting it had failed to meet a 1990 United Nations goal to halve adult illiteracy over the subsequent decade.