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175m Africans can’t read - Unesco

29 January 2014, 11:35

Addis Ababa - Poor quality education is leaving a legacy of illiteracy more widespread than has been believed, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation warned on Wednesday.

About 175 million people in poor countries - one quarter of the youth population - cannot read all or part of a sentence, according to the report.

 In many countries in sub-Saharan African four-fifths of the poorest children finish primary school without having learned the basics in reading and mathematics.

 Nearly $130bn annually is being wasted on poor quality education, Unesco said. In a third of countries analysed in the report, less than three quarters of existing primary school teachers are trained to national standards.

"Teachers have the future of this generation in their hands," Unesco Director General Irina Bokova said.

 "We need 5.2 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education."



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