1999 News Story

Kingdom observes World Literacy Day

Tomorrow Saudi Arabia is observing World Literacy Day. The Kingdom's literacy rate rose

this year to 90.9 percent for men, and 70.2 percent for women. The Ministry of Education

currently supervises 1,300 adult education centers, with 45,000 male students, in addition

to 172 more advanced centers with 32,000 students, and about 100 secondary schools for

adults, with 34,000 students. The General Presidency for Girls' Education has 2,034 adult

education centers, with 73,850 female students.

In a statement today on the occasion, Minister of Education Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Al-Rasheed

referred to the fact the King Abdul Aziz, founder of the modern Kingdom, had made every

effort to enable all citizens, even those in the remotest hamlets, to acquire knowledge.

Saudi Arabia's program to eradicate illiteracy was officially introduced in 1954, and a

special department for adult education was set up in 1985. In 1996 the Kingdom was awarded

a prize by the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO), and

in 1997 another by UNESCO, in recognition of its efforts in illiteracy eradication. This

year Saudi Arabia is the recipient of an award by the International Council for Adult