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Bali Hosts World Summit on Literacy

Bali Conference to Address Problem of Illiteracy Among World's Most Populous Nations.

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150 officials from nine countries are expected in Bali this week at the Education for All Conference (EFA).

Scheduled to be held from March 10-12, 2008, the conference will be opened by Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The conference, first held in 1995, is dedicated to eradicating illiteracy, estimated to be as high as 70% in some of the countries participating in the Bali conference.

According to a conference organizer, the Bali gathering is targeting to produce a joint declaration to reduce the problem of illiteracy.

The nine countries represented at EFA are India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan. Each of these countries are "high population nations" where illiteracy, gender disparity and teacher training remain major concerns.

According to a statement issued by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): "Improving the number and quality of teachers is seen as a key to further progress and the subject is high on the agenda of this seventh meeting of the E-9 group. In some E-9 countries only 50% of teachers have received primary education training. Recognizing the critical role teachers play as catalysts for change, the meeting will thus concentrate on teacher education and training, highlighting individual country and regional experiences."

The EFA Conference will be held at the Bali International Conference Center in Nusa Dua.

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