Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian government has targeted that the illiteracy rate, which in 2020 fell to 1.71 percent, could continue to drop to less than one percent by 2024.

“The government has made a strategy to lower the illiteracy rate to less than one percent by 2024, and to less than 0.05 percent by the end of 2030,” Jumeri, Director General of Early Childhood, Basic and Secondary Educations at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology on the commemoration of the 2021 International Literacy Day, said Wednesday.


The government’s data show that the number of illiterate people in 2019 was 3,081,136 people or 1.78 percent of the total population aged 15 years old and over.

In 2020, the number of illiterate people decreased to 2,961,060 people or 1.71 percent of the population aged 15 years old and over.

However, until now there are several provinces having quite high illiteracy rate, namely Papua (22.03 percent), West Nusa Tenggara (7.52 percent), West Sulawesi (4.46 percent), East Nusa Tenggara (4.24 percent) and South Sulawesi (4.11 percent).


Jumeri said that literacy issues in Indonesia were caused by the low level of literacy among teenagers.

“The 2018 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) shows Indonesia’s score of 371 or 73rd out of 79 countries for literacy,” he noted.

According to Jumeri, the government’s strategies to reduce the illiteracy rate include increasing youth literacy through curriculum development, improving the quality of education and strengthening community literacy, as well as building collaborative among education units.


Director of UNESCO Jakarta, Mohammed Djelid, hoped that programs to reduce illiteracy rate could continue to be improved amidst the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Indonesia Window


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