Illiteracy: The Uncomprehending 40%

Literacy is not every man's dish. A teacher trying to persuade Arab men in North Africa to let their wives learn to read so that they can write letters was pointedly asked by one husband:

"To whom?" On the other hand, literacy has curious values. A Cameroon mother was satisfied with the copybook her son showed her after school hours each day as proof that he was learning —until told by a neighbor that the page had not changed for three months and the boy was playing hooky. The mother now wants to...