The overall illiteracy rate in Jordan reached 4.9 per cent, with 2.4 per cent for males and 7.3 per cent for females, thanks to the Education Ministry’s programmes, Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Azmi Mahafzah said on Monday.

Speaking on Arab Literacy Day, celebrated on January 8, Mahafzah highlighted the inclusion of adult education and literacy programmes in Jordan’s economic modernisation vision and the establishment of educational centres nationwide for citizens facing challenges in formal education.

Mahafzah underscored the ministry’s commitment to providing free learning materials, inaugurating 162 centres for the 2022/2023 academic year, including 137 centres for women and 25 centres for men. These centres attracted a total of 1,896 learners, including 1,544 females and 352 males, he said.

Acknowledging the risks of school dropouts increasing illiteracy, the ministry initiated an awareness programme for dropouts, he said, noting that as part of this initiative, 204 centres for dropouts were established, with approximately 4,020 learners enrolled.

He added that the ministry implemented a remedial education programme for children aged 9-12 years outside formal schooling, with 76 centres serving 1,378 learners. Mahafzah also said that the ministry is currently reviewing the regulations governing the adult education programme.

The minister concluded by inviting those who do not attend school due to personal circumstances to participate in the various non-formal education programmes offered by the ministry.

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