- More than 90 percent of primary-age children in low-income countries and 75 percent of children in lower-middle income countries – more than 330 million children – are not expected to read or do basic maths by the end of primary school.1
- 57 million primary school-age children are out of school.2
- In 2015, illiteracy cost the global economy $1.2 trillion, perpetuating poverty in many parts of the world.3
- If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.4
- Globally, one year of school increases earnings by 10%, on average.5
- If all women completed primary education, there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths.6
Once equipped with the power of reading, children will have greater opportunities, become life-long learners, and realize their full potential.
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2017). More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide. Fact Sheet. Paris: UNESCO. [Accessed 26 January 2018].
- UNESCO Global Monitoring Report, Policy Report 10. (July 2013)
- World Literacy Foundation, The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy. (August 24, 2015)
- UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014 pg. 13
- Ibid, pg. 15