Mobile Devices Can Dramatically Improve Literacy Rates In Developing Countries, Says UNESCO


A new report by UNESCO says that mobile devices can boost literacy rates in developing countries, potentially reaching almost all of the world’s population. Furthermore, an expensive tablet or smartphone is not necessary. In fact, many e-book readers use featurephones.

The report surveyed 5,000 people in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. “In places where physical books are scarce, mobile phones are plentiful. And while mobile phones are still used primarily for basic communication, even the simplest phones are a gateway to long-form text,” says the report, which was created in partnership with Nokia, which is still pegging a significant portion of its business on featurephones, and Worldreader, a free mobile reading platform that targets markets in Asia and Africa.

The report, which was released to coincide with World Book Day, cites data from the United Nations that says more than 6 billion people…

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