There are more than 3.1 million illiterate adults in Mexico according to a study by the National Institute of Adult Education (INEA), said General Director Alfredo Llorente Martínez Wednesday.
“At this time, we can provide our area coordinators — which are the individuals closest to the community — with the name, last name and address of every illiterate in the country,” the director said.
“We worked very closely with the leaders of Progresa, Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)-Solidaridad and the INEA. Now we can say: please visit these 25 people who live in these locations,” Llorente Martínez said.
In order for the illiteracy map to be complete, two more studies are being undertaken.
“Through community leaders, we have identified 3.1 million people,” said Llorente in an interview at the Centro Nacional Mexicano.
“There is still a lot of work to be done on our end to try to conclude this process. What we are creating is a very important advance and we are going to end with 5.4 million, the official number of illiterate Mexicans established by the census. That number still exists,” he said.
More than 60 percent of the illiterate population is women. Illiterate Mexican’s age varies, but there is an especially large number of those above 60 years old living in poverty. However, young illiterates between the ages of 15 and 29 represent 20 to 25 percent of the total population, according to the INEA report.
Furthermore, the INEA findings reveal that the illiterate population has less access to fundamental human rights like health care, food and housing, the director said.
The impending transformation of the Oaxaca State Institute of Public Education is a positive step with support from nearly every social sector, Llorente said.
“What happened yesterday in Oaxaca was a decision by the state with the objective to regain leadership in education, with everything that implicates: regulation, operation, evaluation and all of the other processes that take place within education,” he said.
However, the high rates of illiteracy in Oaxaca have more to do with marginalization than with the structure of the education system, the adult education director said.
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