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'Illiteracy biggest issue for south Asia'

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Illiteracy is the biggest issue for south Asia, which is home to over 50 percent of the world's uneducated population, ministers from Pakistan and Nepal said here Sunday.

Speaking at the Rotary South Asia Literacy Summit 2013, senior minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, representing Pakistan, said: "Illiteracy is the biggest menace, impeding development of mankind and the situation is more true for south Asia which inhabits more illiterate population than anywhere else."

Agreed Nepal's Minister Madhav Poudel, who said significant advances were being made in furthering the cause of literate societies in all south Asian countries, but gender gap continued in many countries.

"Our effort should be to make all-round development," he said.

"TEACH Mission", a campaign to end illiteracy from the region by 2017, was launched on the concluding day of the summit.

"We pledge to achieve total literacy by 2017. TEACH Mission is a holistic campaign which focuses not just on teaching alphabets and numbers but also on teacher support,e-learning, adult literacy, etc." Shekhar Mehta, past Rotary International director, said.

"We are confident that with this approach, we will be able to make south Asia not only literate but better educated."

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First Published: Sun, December 15 2013. 18:50 IST