Saturday, 30th August 2014

Literacy mapping in full swing

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Kathmandu, Dec 9: In order to ascertain the rate of literates in the nation, a literacy mapping is going on in full swing.

The literacy maps are the useful tools to find the real situation of literacy rate which will run the literacy campaigns and formulate planning on literacy.

Recently, UNESCO has provided training in literacy mapping using a Geographical Information System (GIS) to 28 experts.   

"We are using the literacy data from the latest national population census to produce initial literacy maps for the country as a whole and for each district," says Babu Ram Poudel, director of the Non-Formal Education Center. 

These maps will help policy makers in prioritizing geographical areas and population groups with lower literacy rates. They will contribute to target illiterates based on identified numbers, concentrations and profiles.

The GIS maps will contribute to strategize interventions taking into account the available local literacy environment and delivery capacities; and they will help plan literacy actions and programmes relevant to the profiles and needs of targeted illiterate people.

The literacy mapping through GIS allows the government to emphasize bottom-up evidence-based literacy planning, and promotes accountability and innovations in literacy strategies and programme delivery during planning and implementation”, says Tap Raj Pant from the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu. 

In Nepal, illiteracy remains a persistent development challenge. Despite progress, literacy rates remain low. The Nepal Living Standard Survey 2011 reflects a 15+ literacy rate of only 56.5 per cent. This reflects an increase in comparison to 2004 (48 per cent ) and 1996 (35.6 per cent ). 

However, the recent household-based literacy survey which used proxy indicators of literacy, showed a lower literacy rate in the survey districts compared to the self - declared survey studies.

The statistics also reflect huge variations between urban and rural areas (86% populations live in rural areas), geographical zones, and between different castes and ethnic groups. 

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