New Delhi: The government on Saturday expressed hope that the country's literacy rate will touch 80 per cent by 2015 with the success of programmes like Saakshar Bharat mission.

"The average literacy, which is 74 per cent, will reach 80-85 per cent by 2015. This is a big achievement," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here at the end of an international conference on women's literacy.

He said while more than 40 lakh people have been empowered through Saakshar Bharat including women, in the coming times 70 million adults and 7 million women will
benefit from this programme.

The Centrally-sponsored programme was launched on September 8, 2009 with an aim to further promote and strengthen adult education especially of women.

The three-day conference resolved to forge alliances for regional and sub-regional cooperation to meet the goals set particularly in the areas of capacity building, assessment
protocol, training and research. It was attended by the highly-populated E-9 countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan and SAARC countries.

An outcome document released at the end of the meet suggested establishment of a centre on policy research and training in adult education here to the benefit of these countries.

"As an initial effort, as part of sub-regional cooperation we recommend that a Centre for Policy Research and Training in Adult Education can be established in New Delhi by 2013 for the benefit of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka," said an outcome document released at the end of the meet.

The meet also resolved its commitment to improve quality of the programmes by pooling together all the good practices of the member countries in the areas of curriculum, teaching-learning materials, training, monitoring and learner assessment.

Besides, in the outcome document, the participating countries also acknowledged the importance of mainstreaming adult education to improve the literacy rate and quality of life and the need for higher resource allocation for the same.

(Agencies)