The International Conference of E-9 countries on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for literacy called for the overall guidance and supervision of national policies and greater decentralisation of ICT programmes.
About 771 million adults in the world are illiterate. Of them, 304 million are from South Asian countries. As such, development of cost-effective and easily replicable methods of dissemination using ICT media needs to be encouraged, supported and broadened within the E-9 countries that accounted for a majority of adult illiterates today, the conference said. Greater bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation between the countries is also needed, so that successful initiatives and best practices in one country could be replicated in another and delivered to the beneficiaries. It was felt that the possibility of using such existing infrastructure, including that of open schools and distance education systems for adult literacy programmes should be explored, with a view to optimising the cost of such investment.