However, he added "a study conducted by the World Bank found out that it costs just 10 dollars per pupil per year to equip teachers in Malawi with tools to ensure no child is left behind in relation to achieve basic reading skills."
The World Bank said Patrinos has therefore launched reading programmes in several developing countries.
The expert added that an estimated 25 percent of children in developing countries cannot read and write, while 50 per cent of all kids in middle-income countries are "technically illiterate", meaning they are unable to understand or interpret small text.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, "we found out that 61 million people cannot read", said Patrinos.
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)