ERIC Number: ED330231
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jun-29
Reference Count: N/A
World Trends and Issues in Adult Literacy: Interregional and International Comparisons.
Bhola, H. S.
Available world statistics, however limited, indicate a trend toward the universalization of literacy, reason for cautious optimism. Deep commitments and bold action are necessary to eradicate illiteracy by the year 2000. Some important facts do not appear in statistical data, for example: (1) most literacy gains result from expansion of schooling and do not target adults; (2) Third World population explosion has increased the absolute numbers of illiterate people despite a reduced illiterate proportion of the population; (3) statistics are often based on self-report and may underestimate real numbers; (4) serious disparities in literacy occur by geographic region and age; and (5) the largest disparities occur by world region, with 98% of illiteracy occurring in the Third World. Adult literacy work is still treated as a charitable issue, not a pragmatic one. Policy initiatives have been absent or not commensurate with need. Most theory and research comes from the West. While social mobilization is needed for literacy work to succeed, it will have to be organized, not spontaneous. Many aspects of both delivery and curriculum of literacy education must be worked out. Literacy worker training and recruitment must be refined, and the role of both program and learner evaluation should be addressed. (MSE) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual World Congress of Comparative Education (7th, Montreal, Canada, June 26-30, 1989). A Reworked version of ED 319 938.