Improving adult literacy in the Arab World

Arab countries are still facing challenges in the adult literacy segment of the Middle Eastern population. The rate differs among various countries in the region, depending on the particular economic and social differences. This problem poses a threat in the efforts to establish an Arab information society and a knowledge-based economy in this region.

As progress in eradicating illiteracy in this region features room for improvement, the gap between the developed world and other developing regions continues to widen. The United Nations 2011 figures show the Pan – Arab literacy rate within the age group of 15 and above at an average of 77 per cent. In this period, only six countries led by Qatar and Jordan, displayed a literacy rate of 90 per cent and above. Yemen and Morocco showcased most room for improvement as both displayed rates from 65.1 to 67.1, respectively.

A strong discrepancy between male and female literacy in the region can also be observed. Data reveals that male literacy rate is comparatively higher than female literacy rate. This is important to highlight as this difference gives key insights of socio-economic implications in the Arab World. Accordingly, it also calls for an implementation of more effective adult illiteracy eradication programs across the region.