Education, News

South Sudan still has highest illiteracy rate -UNESCO

Students during a break time at a school in Juba. Photo credit: Benedicte Desrus

South Sudan still has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the world, according to the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

UNESCO country representative Shadar Umar says the number of illiterate people above 15 years is more than 70 percent of the population.

“It shows that majority of the country literacy rate is at the lowest level,” Mr Umar said.

He said collective effort is needed to reduce the number.

“There are two main issues; one is the issue of access, equity and quality and putting the three together and the second is the issue of resources when it comes to financing of literacy,” he added.

The UNESCO representative made the statement on the occasion of the International Literacy Day which is marked annually on the 8th of September.

For his part, the Minister of General Education, Deng Deng Hoc, said the government is providing learning opportunity to all.

“We need every individual in the country to take literacy and education generally seriously,” Deng said.

International Literacy Day is celebrated annually to mark achievements and reflect to counter challenges encountered and promote literacy as an integral part of lifelong learning.

This year’s theme is: “Literacy in a digital world.”

In South Sudan, the day is being marked in Bor town, Jonglei