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Friday, March 9, 2012

Global Literacy

This past week, the world celebrated World Read Aloud Day and International Women's Day. My son brought home a list of global literacy statistics that seemed to fit with both days. It is not surprising to know that reading improves, and sometimes, saves lives.

According to the latest data (2009), 793 million adults – two thirds of them women – lack basic reading and writing skills. Included in this statistic are 127 million youth aged 15-24. (UNESCO)

Since 1985, the female adult literacy rate has risen 15%, which is about double the growth of the male literacy rate in the same time period. (UNESCO)

On tests involving 4,500 to 10,000 students in 43 countries, half of the girls said they read for at least thirty minutes a day, compared with less than one-third of the boys. (UNESCO)

In sub-Saharan Africa, girls have less than a 50% chance of finishing primary school. In some Asian countries, girls also struggle: 41% of girls in Pakistan and 30% in India fail to finish primary school. (results.org)

A majority of youth in American public schools cannot read or do math at grade level in the 4th, 8th or 12th grades. (“The State of America’s Children 2011,” a report by the Children’s Defense Fund)

A child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5 than a child born to an illiterate woman. (UNESCO)

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

© LitWorld, 2012

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