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India among bottom 5 in female literacy

According to a report released by the Unesco, India's female literacy rate is a mere 47.8 per cent.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2007 18:24 IST

India is among the bottom five countries in South and West Asia when it comes to female literacy rate, says a new report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

With a mere 47.8 per cent female literacy rate, India sits at the bottom fifth position with countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at more dismal positions.

According to the data presented in the report for the period between 1995-2005, Bangladesh's female literacy rate is 40.8 per cent, Pakistan's is 35.4 per cent, Nepal's is 34.9, and Afghanistan's female literacy rate is just 12.6 per cent.

Also, less than 60 per cent of the total adult population of South and West Asia can read and write.

The report titled "Education for all by 2015. Will we make it?" was released on Thursday at the global literacy meet organised by the Unesco and the ministry of human resource development (HRD) Nov 29-30.

The report says that India, Nigeria and Pakistan account for 27 per cent of the children in the world who are not enrolled in schools.

India's education satellite Edusat, devoted to distance learning courses, is one of the saving graces in the face of a poor education scenario in this part of the world, the report says.

Calling it a revolution in distance learning, the report says that a year after its launch in 2004, "virtual classrooms have become a reality with the connection of more than a dozen teacher-training centres and 50 government schools in Kerala".