Wed, 04 Jun 2003

South Sulawesi fights illiteracy

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: The South Sulawesi education office plans to reduce the number of illiterate people in the province by 11,400 this year, or 5 percent the total number of 280,000 illiterate people in South Sulawesi.

This target is seven times higher than last year's target of 1,500, said the head of the education office's extracurricular programs, Adnan Siara, on Tuesday.

He said the province was counting on the help of non- governmental organizations and volunteers to make the reading project a success.

He said South Sulawesi had a relatively high percentage of illiterate residents. Of the province's 7.51 million residents, 280,000 are illiterate, or 3.6 percent of the entire population.

Adnan said the illiteracy rate was especially high among children. The province, he said, had launched a pilot project called Padu aimed at children. The project is being introduced in four regencies and will involve 6,500 children and 130 teachers.

Supported by the World Bank, the project will expand to include one million people by 2004, Adan said. -- Antara