5.6 Million People Illiterate

Kompas, page 11

As many as 5.6 million people in Indonesia are still illiterate. In addition, there are 26 regencies in 11 provinces, each of which has a population of more than 500,000 illiterate people. To tackle this, it is not enough solely through improving the ability to read and write. Director General of Early Childhood Education and Community Education, Kemdikbud, Harris Iskandar, said that at the national level, over the last decade, the illiteracy eradication program showed positive results.  In 2005, illiterate citizens reached 9.55 percent or 14.89 million people.

In 2015, that figure dropped to 3.43 percent or 5,629,943 million people. This achievement shows Indonesia exceeded the target of the Dakar Declaration on Education for All (EFA).  Within this target, Indonesia reduced the illiteracy rate by half.

According to Harris, illiteracy is eradicated with a variety of programs, such as by maximizing the Indonesia reading movement and the women’s and marginalized empowerment education movement.

In improving the eradication of illiteracy, Harris told, Kemdikbud did not focus only on improving the ability to read and write, but also social economic empowerment, cultural, scientific, and financial literacy.

Zakki Gunawan, from the UNESCO office, appreciated the reduction in the number of illiterate citizens.   According to him, the Indonesian Government has shown a commitment to eradicate illiteracy. In fact, efforts to eradicate illiteracy among the young could run faster.

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