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Submitted by Ichiro Miyazawa (UNESCO Islamabad) on
Dear friends, Let me inform you about our literacy programme with mobile phones. We are implementing this programme with a NGO and a Mobile carrier. The idea is simple. By sending many interesting SMS in national language to learners (adolescent girls) every day and night , we try to keep up/enhance their literacy. Learners are really having fun to read and write messages. Simply, they love to receive and send messages among friends. Due to inadequate capacity of the mobile phone ($ 28) we provided, we can not send longer messages in Urdu. However, I am sure that learners will have inexpensive smart phones like iphone, HTC, Blackberry, etc with gmail/hotmail/yahoo in due course (5 – 10 years time). Then, we will be able to share more interesting texts, info, documents, and stories without any significant cost and interactions among learners will be unstoppable. Though there are pros and cons in this approach, I am hoping it becomes the de-fact standard to eradicate illiteracy. Your comments and advice would be highly appreciated. If you are interested in this initiative, I can send you the concept paper as well. Best regards, Ichiro Miyazawa UNESCO Islamabad ichiro.miyazawa@un.org.pk