March is Literacy Month

Posted By Marc Friedland

For many years, Rotarians have been active in efforts to reduce illiteracy, from building schools and paying salaries of teachers to serving as tutors to collecting and distributing books and audiovisual materials to libraries. Rotarians are working with governments to create large-scale replicable literacy projects in the developing world. Considerable progress has been made in recent decades in reducing illiteracy; yet, close to a billion people lack the most basic literacy and numeracy skills. Millions more are functionally illiterate, lacking the skills necessary to meet the demands of everyday life. UNESCO illuminates some of the greatest challenges for those tackling illiteracy:

— 98 per cent of the world’s illiterate population is in developing countries
— 50 per cent of the world’s illiterate people live in India and China
— More than 50 per cent of the population of Africa is illiterate
— 2/3 of all those who lack literacy and numeracy skills are women
— More than 130 million school-age children are not attending classes

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