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The 1990 World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA) in Jomtien, Thailand, included adult literacy as one of its six major worldwide goals. Although the complete elimination of illiteracy by the year 2000 was adopted as a goal of UNESCO and a significant number of its Member States in the Udaipur Declaration of two decades ago, the Jomtien Conference scaled back such promises, and chose a more modest, and theoretically achievable, goal of cutting illiteracy rates in half by the year 2000. The reasons for this reduction in targeted goal were numerous. As this report describes, important gains have been made in literacy and adult education over the decade since Jomtien – in various places and using various methods – but the overall literacy situation remains one of the major concerns of the twenty-first century.

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Originally prepared for the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, 26-28 April 2000 © UNESCO



Date Posted: 05 July 2018