Most production as Potemkin pointed out dictates if something happens or not. It doesn't just happen out of the goodness of anyone's heart. You need a change to a society that requires literacy to be productive and modern then it will become that. If it doesn't need it for any kind of objective and subjective reason--it won't. Please, don't come up with the excuse that a nation isn't literate because it fails to have intelligent people in it. That is for non thinkers.
Even the most modern and industrialized nations have large sectors of public education institutions that fail to teach their pupils well enough to go out to a modern market and compete. They usually have all kinds of excuses and the blame lies with the poor students who have uneducated parents and who don't have the right culture and all that jazz. In reality? The worst resources, and the lack of being able to invest and attract all the necessary infrastructure to produce the best and most educated students is lacking. It is usually deliberate. Poor neighborhoods? Neglect them. Rich neighborhoods? Invest and give plenty of resources. Then sit back and blame the poorest neighborhoods for high school dropouts galore and low readers and bad writers and low level math skills. They are just naturally inferior. It happens in the USA, and many other nations. And it happens globally.
My solution? Get up and do something about it. If you are educated? Go out there and get involved educating communities with very few educated adults in the neighborhood. Make a difference. Don't be an armchair criticizer.
I read an interesting book recently entitled "Three Cups of Tea" about building schools in Afghanistan. It is the best defense against ignorance, and backward thinking and bringing peace. Educating women, girls, poor people, and being thorough in dedication and respecting people's cultures are essential. I get just tired of all these debates about 'these people are backward'. If you don't like it? What has to happen to change?
I also think that human beings in many societies have to decide what is correct for them. The essential ingredients are if you are committed to that society or you are not. If you are not? Your impact will be negligible. If you are? And your intentions are not imperialistic exploitation agenda? And your agenda is service and caring and something positive and work your buns off to help? You will win the locals over. Guaranteed.
I am sick of the ones with sideline excuses of judgment filled crap about if the people are 'primitive'. Primitive are the people who don't do a damn thing about injustice.
y deja que mi alma se- pierda en- tus riachuelos
para buscar la fuente que te robó de niño
y en un ímpetu loco te devolvió al sendero.