MBRF Literacy Challenge

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation unveils details of first Literacy Challenge Forum

08 Jan 2020

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) has announced the details and agenda of the first edition of the Literacy Challenge Forum, themed ‘Challenges and Solutions,’ at a press conference held at its headquarters in Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, MBRF’s Chairman and coinciding with Arab Literacy Day, the forum will be held on February 24, 2020.

The press conference was addressed by His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, MBRF’s CEO, who stated that the Literacy Challenge Forum is a leading initiative that complements MBRF’s global initiatives aimed at promoting knowledge and literacy awareness across all nations.

Sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNESCO, the forum’s first edition aims to provide an integrated platform that brings together literacy experts and leaders from around the world to exchange expertise, enhance cooperation and work together to eliminate illiteracy in the Arab world. The forum also aims to explore modern approaches to adult education and highlight the inspirational stories of leading figures and entities in the field, underlining their contributions to combating illiteracy.

“The forum’s first edition has the objective of realising the UAE leadership’s vision and the directives of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It marks our commitment to broaden the scope of the MBRF Literacy Challenge by transforming it into a knowledge incubator, where thought leaders and experts meet to exchange expertise, share success stories and put forward solutions,” H.E. Al Huwaireb added.

“The forum’s theme: ‘Challenges and Solutions’ reflects the goal of eliminating all obstacles in the way of knowledge dissemination by promoting reading and writing in target communities. This can only be achieved if we combine our efforts and establish strategic partnerships with regional and international entities. Such unified efforts will ensure our success, as they are driven by the noblest of purposes, knowledge dissemination,” H.E. continued.

His Excellency added that illiteracy rate in the region stands at 21 per cent, according to statistics from the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), which is higher than the global average of 13.6 per cent. Further, tensions and protests in several Arab countries led to 13.5 million out-of-school children in the region. And while illiteracy among Arab males is 14.6 per cent, it is 25.9 per cent among females, it is even higher at 60 to 80 per cent in some nations.

His Excellency expressed plans for the forum to present a comprehensive and objective perspective of the illiteracy problem in the Arab world and offer practical solutions that would make a real change, contribute to enhancing knowledge in society, and support the quest for sustainable development. He praised the role of the media in raising awareness on literacy initiatives that are aimed at spreading knowledge and eradicating illiteracy in the Arab world.

Four Pillars

The forum will discuss the issue of illiteracy in Arab society led by four pillars: ‘current state of illiteracy and adult learning and education in the Arab world,’ ‘lifelong learning - a contemporary vision,’ ‘success stories in the Arab world’ and ‘showcasing experiences of leaders in combatting illiteracy.’

The forum’s calendar includes enriching and in-depth workshops, featuring the latest regional and international studies and experiences related to illiteracy, while seeking to identify the best models to meet the requirements in the Arab world.

The forum will also recognise the accomplishments of organisations, institutions and individuals working to eradicate illiteracy, improving and modernising the education system, and developing qualitative and influential projects to promote literacy around the world.