JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia has reduced its illiteracy rate from 60 percent in 1972 to 4 percent this year, a report released Saturday by the Saudi News Agency said.
The oil-rich kingdom started efforts to eradicate illiteracy in 1954, which has pushed up the rate of children going to school to 98.7 percent, according to the report marking the International Literacy Day.
However, the gap between male and female illiterates is still wide. There are 12,638 men studying at education centers for grown- ups, including evening schools for illiterates and those who have no access to education, but this number for women is much higher, which stands at 70,158.
Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, said that continuous efforts are being made to educate adults and they would not stop until all adults have acquired learning skills.
The Kingdom has received several international awards in recognition of its success in eradicating illiteracy and developing education, the report said.