According to UNESCO’s 1958 definition, the term refers to the ability of an individual to read and write with understanding a simple short statement related to his/her everyday life. The concept of literacy has since evolved to embrace several skill domains, each conceived on a scale of different mastery levels and serving different purposes.

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A different sector involves adult learning that has a remedial purpose. For example, in many countries the formal education system contains special adult education classes and/or schools that fulfi l a remedial function by offering the equivalent of a secondary education or some other type of general upgrade such as basic literacy and language classes (Desjardins, Rubenson and Milana, 2006: 22).