Managua: Nicaragua has become illiteracy-free after reducing to 3.5 percent the number of citizens who do not know how to read and write, President Daniel Ortega has announced.
Ortega made the announcement at a rally held on Saturday at the Revolution Square in Managua, where Education Minister Miguel de Castilla gave him the certificate. The President recalled that the literacy campaign had begun on August 23, 1980, a year after the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution.
At that time, the illiteracy rate was 53 percent. The Sandinistas then lowered it to 12 percent, but after 16 years of neo-liberal governments (1990-2006) the figure rose against to 30 percent. Neo-liberal governments were not interested in teaching people how to read and write because they just want to get cheap labour force, Ortega said.
He urged the Ministry of Education to now teach people the Constitution, so they can defend their rights. Education and health are human rights, he added. The Literacy Campaign now took almost two years. It began right after the Sandinista National Liberation Front party won the 2006 General Elections.
Nicaragua is the fourth Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our Americas bloc member to become illiteracy free after Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.
First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009, 12:35