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Mon 11 Feb 2008 01:22 AM

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Illiteracy rife among Saudi MDs

Almost 1,700 of kingdom's managers and managing directors unable to read or write, report says.

Almost 1,700 managers and managing directors in Saudi Arabia are illiterate, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a government survey.

About a fifth of the 1,667 illiterate managers and managing directors in the world's biggest oil exporter are foreigners, Al-Hayat newspaper said quoting results of the survey led by the Economy and Planning Ministry's statistics department.

The survey showed that 70% of some 535,000 illiterate workers in the desert kingdom were non-Saudis.

Almost one in three people in the Arab world is illiterate, including nearly half of all women in the region, the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation (Alesco) said in January.

And literacy levels are falling behind those of other developing regions due to the poor quality of education, the World Bank said earlier this month.

Three quarters of the 100 million people unable to read or write in the 21 Arab countries are aged between 15 and 45 years old.

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