Global Leaders Urged to Support New Action Plan to Wipe Out Illiteracy by 2020

2012-04-04 21:00 885

OXFORD, England, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The World Literacy Foundation has urged leaders of governments and education to pledge support for the new Oxford Declaration announced today at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford, United Kingdom.

The CEO of the World Literacy Foundation Mr Andrew Kay said, "We have created a pathway which its main purpose is to eradicate illiteracy by the year 2020.

"Clear evidence shows if we are to reduce poverty then address illiteracy," he said.

Over 250 delegates from 60 countries contributed to the Oxford Declaration at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford, United Kingdom, which will be formally presented today (Wednesday, April 4) in the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad Street Oxford at 2pm.

The Declaration requires commitment and investment from the global community on five key priority areas. These priority areas include: development of leadership in the literacy sector, quality of education, targeted advocacy, improved measurements of learning outcomes and evidence based strategies.

World Literacy Foundation Chief Executive Officer Mr Andrew Kay issued a plea to governments and the community to be pro-active in achieving the goals of the Oxford Declaration.

"Illiteracy is linked to many poor life outcomes, such as poverty, unemployment, social exclusion, crime, long-term illness, lost productivity in business and reduced income earning capacity in a job.

"The Oxford Declaration embodies our commitment to achieving literacy through quality education. This in turn will help build the economic and social capital of all countries," he said.

"It is obvious the Millennium Development Goals for education and literacy will not be met by the 2015 deadline. It is obvious the Education For All Goals will not be met. Although some progress has been made, we need to take more decisive action," he said.

"About one in five people across the world are functionally illiterate. This shocking statistic means their literacy skills are so poor that they cannot complete tasks such as reading a medicine or food label or filling out a job or bank loan application," Mr Kay said.

Mr Kay concluded, "We need to treat illiteracy as a disease that we are aiming to eradicate. We need to understand that early intervention can avert a lifetime of hardship, poverty and pain for a child, young person or adult who is struggling to read or write."

For a full copy of the World Literacy Summit's Oxford Declaration email Andrew Kay

For further information about the World Literacy Summit please visit:

For further information please call Andrew Kay: UK +44 7 867 933 115 or Australia +61 419 201 089

Source: World Literacy Foundation