By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: Jan. 9 – The illiteracy rate in the age group 15 to 44 years has come down to 2.2 per cent in 2015 in the Sultanate compared with 3.5 per cent in 2010, thanks to the literacy initiative launched in 1973. Since its launch, 2,800 students have been passing out of adult literacy programmes every year, reaching proficiency in reading and writing. The illiteracy rate in the age group 15 years and above dipped to 7 per cent as against 14.1 per cent in 2010. In 2011, it dropped to 11.4 per cent, and is progressively dipping one per cent every year.
To mark the Arab Literacy Day, Al Saidia Museum, the first official school in Muscat offering adult literacy programmes, held a celebration to honour 100 teachers, abled-bodied and physically challenged students from Mabela, Qurayat, Sidab, Al Sahdabi as well as other parts of Muscat Governorate.
Besides celebrating overcoming illiteracy, students also exhibited handicrafts made by them. “They are special because they are trying to get educated and overcome challenges. This is the aim of eradication of illiteracy,” said Rudhaina Amur al Hajri, Director of Al Saidia Museum.
It is the only institution operating under the supervision of Ministry of Education. 2016-2017 has seen a registration of 6,222 male and female students for adult education programmes conducted by the ministry across Oman, including the remote areas. In 1997, the Sultanate was ranked first by Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation for illiteracy eradication in the Arab world. The ministry continues to spread awareness on the negative impact of illiteracy in society.