Throughout the twentieth century, literacy was of great concern to Mexican authorities. At the outset of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, only 15 percent of the population was literate. After the revolution, literacy campaigns made it possible to increase literacy rates to 37 percent in 1940. Census figures for the year 2000 indicated that more than 90 percent of the population was literate. Men and women seem to have similar rates of literary. Literacy campaigns have continued in different parts of the country. In some instances, like in the 1960s, the most outstanding elementary school students from rural schools were trained by their own teachers to teach adults to read and write. At the end of the campaigns, many of these elementary school students were given a trip to Mexico City, where they toured the capital city and had meetings with high-level officials, including the secretary of education. At the close of the twentieth century, literacy campaigns were still implemented in parts of the country. Students from the bachilleres were teaching literacy courses. Although literacy rates have decreased, the absolute number of illiterate people has remained constant since 1970, at around 6,000,000 people. But one must take into consideration that population growth has increased from 35,000,000 in 1960 to nearly 100,000,000 in 2000. Illiteracy is concentrated in groups of elderly people and in isolated and dispersed communities. Indigenous groups are disproportionally affected and, within these groups, it is women who show greater rates of illiteracy than men. In 1995 the national government released information indicating that in 1995 nearly 80 percent of indigenous women were illiterate; males between the ages of 15 and 24 years had an illiteracy rate of 3.8 percent. In 1998 the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA) offered literacy, as well elementary and secondary education, to 2.6 million adults in 1998. Of these adults, 21 percent participated in literacy courses. Since 1996 a new curriculum has focused on providing adults with literacy education and their first elementary school examination.
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