Minister for Education, Mathew Wale has highlighted the importance of literacy - the ability to read and write, in world of growing insecurity.

Speaking during world literacy day last week, Mr Wale said Solomon Islands has failed in its efforts to teach as many people as possible, the ability to read and write in English and in one's mother tongue.

Mr Wale said although literacy is being taught in the mainstream education system, it is only seen as an extra activity.

He said Solomon Islands needs to double the efforts and resources to address literacy training to both adults and school age children.

Mr Wale said government, through the Ministry of Education is working closely with the Literacy Association of Solomon Islands, LASI and other partners to eliminate illiteracy in our societies.

He said literacy is a basic right because people who depend on others to process information for them are vulnerable.

Based on research by UNESCO there are at least 900 million illiterates in developing countries, representing nearly 25 per cent of the world's youth and adults.

For the Solomon Islands 23.4% of its population are illiterate, making it one of the highest in the Pacific.