Illiteracy is a curse. It is the root cause of the ignorance that frustrates all development efforts of the government and the community. No development efforts can succeed unless illiteracy is eradicated. Eradication of illiteracy in a country like Bangladesh with so vast a population is undoubtedly a gigantic task. No individual, community, or organization, not even the government is capable of solving this huge problem single-handed. It is the social responsibility of all the literate people, men, and women, to make some concerted efforts to remove illiteracy from society. The Government of Bangladesh has already undertaken some important programs in this regard. To provide primary education for at least 70 percent of the children of six to ten years of age by the end of 1990, the Government has launched a program called the Universal Primary Education (UDE) Project. The objectives are to increase enrolment, especially of girls, reduce dropouts and retain them at school till the completion of their primary education.

There is another educational program in which each primary school in a community is to be regarded as a Community Learning Centre (CLC). The objective is to involve increasingly the parents and the members of the community in the educational activities of the school. The adults and the out-of-school youths will come to the school. The adults and the out-of-school youths will come to school to school in the afternoon or in the evening after their work. Here they will receive not only basic education but also practical training in their vocations.

During the Third Five Year Plan Period, which began in July 1985 the Government has taken up an extensive mass literacy and adult education program for the country. The target is to make 24 million people of 10 to 30 years of age literate by 1990.

The mass media, especially radio, TV, and newspapers can play a vital role in making people more conscious of the importance of literacy in the life of a nation. They can broadcast and publish regular features on various aspects of basic education, adult education, and mass literacy.

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