The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as:
The ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.
UNESCO is being involved in providing global education to all the countries of the world. But sadly numerous developing countries are at loss in this field of education. There literacy rates show appalling condition of education which has a direct affect on infrastructure, economy and development of the country. This determines the main reason of the slow rate of progress in the Top 10 following lowest states in literacy with an increased rate of disharmony and chaos in the total administrative setup.
It is an Islamic republic with its capital and largest city Nouakchott bordering the Atlantic coast. The population was previously nomads of Sahara desert which then decided to prosper and settle down. In 1950, the 1st school was started in Mauritania and now it has an illiteracy rate of 60.1% of the total population of more than 3 million. More than 20% of them lives on an average income of less than US $1.25 per day.
It is the 2nd most populous country of Africa with over 82 million people residing in it. Ethiopia has got history of monarchy with it and was dominated in Ethiopian Orthodox Church system of education. Significant revolution occurred in this system but still a total of 61.3% of the population is declared to be illiterate nowadays.
Present in West Africa, Benin is a country with an agricultural background and a total population of 9.05 million has an illiteracy rate of 62.5%. Benin is carrying out substantial work according to the recommendation of Educational forum 2007 for increase in education.
Senegal is present south of Senegal River in West Africa and has Mauritania in its north. Senegal is a major recipient of international donation as it had undergone economy devaluation in past few years. The illiteracy rate is 62.7% with a public expenditure for education in 2002-2005 of just 5% of GDP sadly.
It is also a West African country with Altanic Ocean bordering its west border. In 1974, Guinea became an independent state and it has one of the world’s lowest GDP. The illiteracy rate is 63.2% which is a significant percentage of the population even though education is mandatory from 7 to 13 ages.
Gambia is a smaller West African country landlocked by Senegal and situated around Gambia River. It is also an agricultural country which previously had high school fees which lead to decrease in literacy rate. Although better rules are passed for education, its illiteracy rate still stays at 63.5%.
4. Sierra Leone
Having a population of above 6 million, Sierra Leone relies on its mining industry for the yearly income. Like other West African countries it is also very low in literacy rate. The education decreased in period of Leone civil war time but it has gradually improved due to the free and compulsory education at government schools. Its illiteracy rate is 63.7%.
It shares the illiteracy rate of 63.7% with Sierra Leone. Being present in South Central Asia has been victim of many major wars i.e. soviet war and recently in war against terror. Orthodox Islamic practices prevents the increase in literacy rate as less people indulge in educational practices
2. Burkina Faso
It is an overpopulated country of West Africa with a population of over 15 million people. Burkina Faso is also one of the world’s lowest countries in GDP with 80% of its population working in agricultural field. Education is out of the reach of low income families in Faso and this leads the illiteracy rate to a huge 77% of the population.
Niger is a developing country. It has one of the lowest ranks of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) i.e. 167th out of 169 countries. Niger has large deserts with little area available for agriculture which is also under great threat of drought and desertification. Children are forced to work with nomadic children have no access to schools. An outraging total illiteracy rate of 84.3% of the total population is seen.
It is our duty to work for the welfare of these low income countries and help them gain a stable position in the world.