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20.1% of Egyptians are illiterate, says new report

Some 20.1 per cent of Egypt’s total population are illiterate, the state-run Central Agency for Public ‎Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced yesterday in a new report. Marking International Literacy Day, CAPMAS said that in 2016 some 14.3 million Egyptians above the age of ten years could not read and write; 9.1 million of them are females.

CAPMAS pointed out that the illiteracy rate for young Egyptians aged 15 to 24 years has dropped to 6.5 per cent, compared with 57.1 per cent among those who are 60 and older. The agency stressed that such a percentage gives a positive indicator for the future.

The report noted that urban areas recorded a lower illiteracy rate of 13.5 per cent, compared with the rural areas, which stood at 25.2 per cent. When looked at on the basis of governorates, the CAPMAS report showed that the highest illiteracy rates were recorded in the Upper Egypt provinces, with Beni Suef governorate ranking at 30.2 per cent, and Sohag province having a rate of 30 per cent. The northern governorate of Port Said ranked the lowest with illiteracy rate amounting to just 5.4 per cent.

International Literacy Day was initiated by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and is held on 8 September every year. This year, UNESCO is celebrating the day across the world under the theme of “Literacy in a Digital World”.

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