President attributes UNESCO literacy award to women empowerment
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says that Indonesia was able to win UNESCO’s top literacy prize because of the country’s comprehensive education programs, particularly its women empowerment programs.
“This achievement proves that Indonesia’s literacy program has successfully enhanced educational quality and eradicated illiteracy through entrepreneurship, reading, culture and training that reached 3 million women,” he said during a meeting at the State Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Friday.
On Wednesday, UNESCO announced that Indonesia would receive the King Sejong Literacy Prize, along with Rwanda, given its achievements in reducing the illiteracy rate in the country.
The United Nations’ organization will also honor the literacy programs of Bhutan and Colombia.
According to UNESCO data, Indonesia had a 93 percent literacy rate in 2009, on a par with neighboring countries Malaysia and Singapore, which had literacy rates of 93 percent and 95 percent, respectively.
“This achievement means that UNESCO recognized that Indonesia was ready to compete globally,” said Yudhoyono.
UNESCO will present the awards during a ceremony at its Paris headquarters on Sept. 6, as part of the celebrations for International Literacy Day on Sept. 8. (yps)