Cuba offers literacy to the world

Campaign News | Friday, 8 September 2006

860 million do not know how to read and write

Havana, Sep 8 (Prensa Latina) Friday, while the UN-created World Day for Literacy Campaigns is being celebrated, more than 860 million people on the planet do not know how to read and write.

The objective of the day declared in 1967 was to assure that all inhabitants of the world would learn these essential skills, but this goal is still very far from being accomplished.

In an article in Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde Friday, it explained that there is now a renewal of political willingness to overcome the nearly forty years of stagnation of the program due to insufficient effort or lack of coordination.

More than 100 million children have no school, while drop out rates are extremely high; in 30 of the countries discussed by Juventud Rebelde, almost 75 percent of children do not reach the fifth grade.

Major problems in overcoming illiteracy, besides in many countries the number of illiterate people was greater than the literate, were low budgets and difficulties for adults to go to classes.

Cuba, using modern technology such as TV and video, created the "Yo Si Puedo" program that allows learning with minimal resources, but with active participation using discussion and self-discovery of personal potential.

This program was applied in Venezuela, and Venezuela was declared a country free of illiteracy in October 2005.

Now the Cuban method is being applied in Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, New Zealand, Peru and the Dominican Republic to teach more than two and a half million people to read and write.

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