Literacy Education in Saudi Arabia

According to the results of the demographic survey conducted by the Department of Statistics and Information, Ministry of Economy and Planning in 2007 the incidence of illiteracy among the Saudi population is 13.7%. The illiteracy rate stood at 1.4% for the age group 10 to 14 years, while the highest level in the age group between the ages of 65 and more than 509,573 people to the rate of 73.9%. With regard to the spread of illiteracy among Saudi Administrative Regions, as the study showed a large disparity between the regions of the Kingdom, while the figure for both sexes is at its lowest level in the Riyadh region, at 9.9%, the highest levelis found in the Jizan area at 23.5%, and the lowest rate of illiteracy among males is in Riyadh region, as the minimum rate of 5.1% and in Jizan higher rate of 14.8%, while the lowest rate of illiteracy of Saudi women is in the eastern region at 14.7% and the highest rate is in the region of Jizan at 31.6%.

According to the World Bank, there is gender disparity in literacy rate. In 2007, 85.0 percent of adult (people ages 15 and above) are literate and 98.1 percent of youth (people ages 15 - 24) are literate, 89.1 percent of male adults are literate and 79.4 percent of female adults are literate. As for youth literacy rate (people ages 15 - 24), 97.0 percent is literate, 98.1 percent of male youths are literate, and 95.9 percent of female youths are literate. One of the World Bank reports suggested the relatively high adult literacy rate of Saudi Arabia, considering the continued low level of primary enrollment, derived from the successful use of religious organizations, particularly local mosques and local religious institutions such as Koranic schools for the provision of ancillary educational services, which is a trend of particular note in the MENA region.