The Government of Uganda is now focusing on the development of skills as the struggle continues to eradicate the 23% illiteracy rate in the country
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government is committed to achieving 100% literacy levels in the country, adding that efforts towards that goal have already borne great strides with the current literacy rates now standing at 77% up from 43% in 1986.
"Literacy rates were very low. Those who could read and write when NRM took over were at about 43%. It is now at 77%," he said.
The President was on Tuesday speaking to delegates attending the 3-day 11th Pan-African Literacy for All Conference at Kampala Serena Hotel. The conference that is running under the theme ‘Literacy: A Bridge To Equity" seeks to see the region consolidate the gains that have so far been made in promoting literacy as well as identifying the challenges.
The Reading Association of Uganda (RAU) in conjunction with its African umbrella organizations- the International Development Committee in Africa (IDC-A) and the International Literacy Association (ILA) is hosting literacy researchers, policymakers, sociologists, multilateral partners, curriculum specialists, literacy educators to a forum of experts to share evidence-based findings, practices and policies that interrogate the role of literacy in bridging the equity gap.
Museveni assured participants that the government of Uganda is now focusing on the development of skills as the struggle continues to eradicate the 23% illiteracy rate in the country.
"We have covered much of the alphabet and numeracy, we now have to deal with skills among the 77% as we still struggle to make the 23% also learn how to read and write and then add more content through skills," he added.
He saluted the efforts of the pioneers of writing, saying that the group did a tremendous job in capturing formal writing of Bantu, Nilotic and Sudanic dialects, which was not an easy job.
He used the occasion to encourage all Ugandans in particular and Africans in general to master the skills of reading and writing saying that it is a very crucial issue that should not be ignored.
The Patron of the Reading Association of Uganda, Roy Tumusiime commended the President for sparing time to attend the conference. She saluted him and the NRM government for embracing education for all, something she said has increased access to education in the country.
She also saluted the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni for support to the Association.