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Education official sounds literacy alert

About 580,000 Thais aged over 15 years are completely illiterate, Education Ministry permanent secretary Suthasri Wongsamarm said yesterday.

She was referring to findings from the latest survey by the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education.

The survey also found that at least a million others had a very low level of literacy. People in this group could not use their reading, writing and arithmetic skills to answer questions, she said. "Some 1.1 million people aged between 15 and 59 years old are described as having a low level of literacy. They can use those skills to answer just a few questions," Suthasri said.

So far, she said, the findings were from a preliminary survey only.

"We will need to develop standard tests to determine Thais' literacy. Relevant authorities should consult the National Institute of Educational Testing Service," she said.


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