Scotland - 'Visionary' plan to oust illiteracy

11th December 2009 at 00:00

Scotland can become the world's first fully literate nation by embracing a "visionary" plan and declaring zero tolerance on illiteracy, according to a Labour party-commissioned report.

Labour leader Iain Gray promised to pursue the key findings "relentlessly".

He added: "I pledge Scottish Labour to the task of eradicating illiteracy and innumeracy from 21st-century Scotland."But experts believe there is a huge hurdle: a glaring social divide that makes illiteracy far more prevalent among children in poor areas.

The report, by the Literacy Commission, warns that prompt action is vital as international evidence suggests Scotland is falling behind other countries.

The commission estimates that almost a million people - one in five Scots - have problems with literacy in everyday life. It backs standardised literacy tests across Scotland and intervention long before children arrive at school.

Convener Judith Gillespie said the 11 recommendations, if met, would "place us in the enviable position of being the developed world's first fully literate nation". hh.

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