Elimination of illiteracy

Elimination of illiteracy (likvidatsiia nepysmennosty or Liknep). A system of institutions and resources established in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (26 December 1919) and in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (21 May 1921) for teaching reading and writing to the illiterate part of the population, ranging in age from 8 to 50 years. The central agency managing the campaign against illiteracy in Ukraine was the All-Ukrainian Extraordinary Commission for Eliminating Illiteracy, which published the semimonthly Het’ nepys’mennist’. The lower agencies were known as ‘elimination points’ (likvidatsiini punkty) and offered instruction lasting from three to six months to two years. Their curriculum included ‘political literacy.’ The network of elimination points, which was established in 1921, numbered 487 points by the end of that year, 5,096 by the end of 1923, and 13,028 by 1925. The number of students served by the system (in thousands for January of the given year) is presented in the accompanying table. As a result of the campaign against illiteracy the literacy rate in the Ukrainian SSR rose from 57.5 percent in 1926 to 85.3 percent in 1939, to 98.5 percent in 1961, and to 99.7 percent in 1970.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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