Myanmar has been striving for promoting literacy in the country as part of its bid to raise the nation's education standard in line with its international level. The country's literacy campaign 2014, which started in the first week of April, covers 29 townships across the country with a total of 4,261 students and 403 faculty members engaged in teaching 46,479 people from the 29 townships for one and a half months until mid-May. President U Thein Sein attended one of the campaign launching in Singaing township in northern Mandalay on Sunday and stressed the need to encourage the literacy campaign, saying it plays a key role in rural development and poverty alleviation. Myanmar's illiteracy eradication movement was first launched in Myanmar 1964 to accelerate the then momentum of literacy programs. The government formed a literacy supervisory central committee in 1966. Adult literacy rate in the country went up in 2013 to as high as 95.13 percent and the achievement was attributed to the opening of more than 43,100 basic education schools across the country in the 2013-14 academic year to create more learning opportunities. The Education Ministry has called for the cultivation of a constant learning society through basic literacy activities of the entire people so as to build a democratic nation. It also emphasized the need for all the people to be educated to catch up with the advancement of technology in the education era, especially the younger generation. The application of modern science and technology in various fields and nurturing of highly competent intellectuals with high technical know-how stands as the top priority for effective facilitation of national development. Since the implementation of enrollment of all school-age children, the rate of enrollment of children under five has been increasing year after year. Myanmar started drafting of the Comprehensive Education Sector Review, putting cohesive efforts into weak spots in cooperation with related UN agencies, international organizations and educational donors. In 2012, a conference on Development Policy Options with Special Reference to Education and Health in cooperation with UN agencies was organized in Nay Pyi Taw. To promote literacy, Myanmar marks the International Literacy Day yearly under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and the UNESCO since 1966. The 2003-2012 period was unanimously designated as the United Nations Literacy Decade under the convention of the United Nations General Assembly 2012 with the aim of guaranteeing primary education to everyone and supporting literacy programs for the adult. A number of private foundations have been set up for this purpose. They present literary awards which cover over a dozen categories including life-time literary awards, Myanmar book awards, manuscript awards, English book award and English manuscript award, dealing with various genres such as economy, health, environmental conservation and culture. In addition to the private awards, the government also offers 15 national-level literary awards and 13 Sarpay Beikman ( Literature House) manuscript awards every year. Official statistics show that the number of state-operated basic education schools in the country has increased to 41,000 where a total of over 8.1 million students are pursuing education under the guidance of over 270,000 teachers. In the higher education sector, 161 universities and colleges have been opened in the country. Due to its concerted efforts in the literacy campaign, Myanmar gained Mohammad Riza Pahlavi Prize in 1971 and Noma Prize in 1983 presented by the UNESCO.