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Literacy: Developing Countries

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps he has taken to improve levels of literacy in the world's 10 poorest countries. (294293)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed in partnership with other donors, to the realisation of all six goals of the Education for All (EFA) agenda.

Through our long-term commitment to provide £8.5 billion in support of education overseas to 2015, we are supporting poor countries to invest in quality basic education, including lower secondary, to ensure that children attain the fundamental skills they need to participate in social and economic life.

DFID has recently directly supported adult literacy programmes in Uganda, Kenya, India and Yemen, as well as through humanitarian aid programmes. In India, DFID supports the accelerated Tara Akshar Reading programme, a fast track programme aiming to teach people to read in 50-hours over a period of 30-days. In Yemen, DFID and participating donors are financing a substantial basic education programme which includes support to both primary and adult basic education.