6.4% of world’s illiterate Pakistanis: UN report
NEW DELHI: India has the world’s largest number of adults who are unable to read or write while 6.4 percent of the world’s illiterates are Pakistanis, UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report said on Tuesday.
“More than 70 percent of the world’s illiterates numbering around 562 million live in just nine countries, notably India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” the report said. China has 11 percent of the world’s population that is unable to read or write; Bangladesh 6.5 percent; and Pakistan 6.4 percent. India ranked 106 out of the 127 countries surveyed in the report, which monitors education trends around the world.
The report, which was released in New Delhi, said India’s adult literacy rate at 61.3 percent is far below the global average of 81.7 percent. The Indian government claims adult literacy is improving, but UNESCO data showed the pace is rather slow.
Moreover, nearly 34 percent of the world’s adult illiterates were in India, the report said.
The report said there were 800 million illiterate adults worldwide, representing 18.3 percent of the adult population. Women comprise almost two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people, it said.
In India, the literacy rate for girls was even more alarming. While boys spend about 10 years in school, compared to the global average of 10.7 years, the average Indian girl receives only 7.9 years of formal schooling, compared to a 9.8-year global average. In a country where sons are preferred, if families have a financial crunch, girls are the first to be pulled out of school, sent out to work or left to care for younger siblings. ap