With the rest of the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will celebrate tomorrow the World Day for Eradication of Illiteracy. Thanks to the great efforts exerted in this respect, the rate of illiteracy in the Kingdom dropped in 1997 to 13.57 percent for men and 34.3 percent for women. There are now 1,197 literacy schools for male adults, with 37,184 students, plus 1,578 for females, with 67,856 students. The General Secretariat for Adult Education, an affiliate of the Ministry of Education, has also been conducting campaigns to enlighten the people on the disadvantages of illiteracy. In addition, adult literacy classes have been established all over the Kingdom by the Presidency of the National Guard, accommodating 2,600 students; by the Ministry of Defense and Aviation for 1,740 students; and by the Ministry of Interior for 300 students.
Saudi authorities concerned with illiteracy eradication participate regularly in conferences and seminars both inside and outside the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also the recipient of awards from the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO) and from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in recognition of its significant role in the eradication of illiteracy.