Innovative projects to teach women, adolescents and other marginalized populations reading skills in five countries around the world were announced today as the winners of the 2006 Literacy prizes of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“The UNESCO prizes are awarded annually in recognition of particularly effective contributions to the fight against illiteracy, one of UNESCO’s priorities,” the agency said as it named the projects in Cuba, Morocco, Pakistan, India and Turkey. “They call attention to the efforts of thousands of men and women who devote themselves year after year to advancing the cause of literacy for all,” it added. The 2006 prizes include:The $20,000 UNESCO International Reading Association Literacy Award, awarded to the National Commission for Human Development of Pakistan for a national programme that provides literacy classes to adults and out-of-school children, collects data through door-to-door surveys, and encourages community involvement in the enrolment of children in school.The two $20,000 King Sejong Literacy Prizes, created by the Government of the Republic of Korea, went to the Mother Child Education Foundation (Turkey), which has developed teaching strategies for underprivileged girls and women as well as army conscripts, and to the Youth and Adult Literacy and Education Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogical Institute of the Republic of Cuba for its work in more than 15 countries, notably Ecuador and Venezuela.Two $20,000 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, established with the People’s Republic of China, which were given to the Ministry of National Education of Morocco an innovative national literacy initiative designed specifically for marginalized adolescents in rural areas and to the Directorate of Literacy and Continuing Education of Rajastan for its Useful Learning through Literacy and Continuing Education Programme in Rajasthan, the largest and poorest state in India.The winners will receive their prizes on International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September. read more