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Illiteracy: Nigeria Hosts E-9 Meeting

/A global conference on Illiteracy began yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital.

Known as the E-9 Initiative,  it was launched in 1993 as a forum for discussion of experiences in education, exchange of best practices and monitoring of progress in  Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan, which together account for 60 per cent of the world’s population and are home to about two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults.

No fewer than 120 participants, including the UNESCO Special Envoy, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Director-General of the organisation, Ms Irina Bokova and Ministers of Education of the E-9 countries are expected at the meeting with the theme, Literacy for Development.

The sub-themes are: Literacy & life skills; Policies & Strategies; Legal frameworks for Enforcement; Quality of programmes; Assessment, Moni-toring & Evaluation; Identification & Scaling up of best practices; South-South Coope-ration; Part-nerships between Government, CSOs & Private Sector; Resource Mobilisation; Special Needs and Disadvantaged Groups; ICTs and Mass Literacy; Evidence-based Research for advocacy & awareness raising; Language; and Role of UNESCO.

It is the eighth of similar meetings, the last held in Bali, Indonesia in 2008. The goal is to commit the ministers to feasible, concrete activities that will advance the E-9 Initiative to accelerate progress towards achieving the Education for All (EFA) by 2015 goals.