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It is widely recognized that literacy is an indispensable foundation and means to empower people to cope with the complexities of life and to enable active participation in society. 38% of children in the world are not learning the basics and illiteracy is rising throughout the developing world – this despite significantly increased investment in basis education provision. Institutionalised education is failing and new models of learning and teaching are required. In its report "Millions Learning : Scaling Up Quality Education in Developing Countries" The Brookings Institution states that, as of today, it will take over 100 years for average-scoring students in developing countries to catch up with their counterparts in developed countries.Within a framework of research and evaluation of progress, innovative and flexible programmes, with supporting infrastructure, which are specifically designed for scaling are urgently required. These initiatives should be supported by governments and aligned to national policies.

There are approximately 781 million illiterate adults in the world and many in regions experiencing booming economic growth. Particularly in Africa, illiteracy may reach even greater heights, challenging countries to make heroic efforts in order to deliver basic education services to all. ICTs, including mobile technologies, hold tremendous potential to address both child and adult basic educational needs in terms of the credible design and access to inter-generational quality learning in informal environments and in reaching the unreached.

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