Monday, January 19th 2009, 9:19 PM in Educational
It is very difficult to find anyone who would not agree that illiteracy is one of the major problems facing our society and our educational system. The topic of illiteracy is discussed constantly on radio, television, blogs, internet, magazines, and articles and almost on daily basis in newspapers all across the Country. We spend so much of our time discussing the issue, debating the cause of illiteracy and placing blame for its cause that we never get around to solving the problem.
In general terms, illiteracy is an inability to use language—an inability to read, write, listen and speak. Today, it is usually taken to mean being unable to read and write at a level adequate for written communication or at a level that will allow an individual to function at certain levels of society. In the simplest of terms, illiteracy is the opposite of literacy. "It can also be defined as the inability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners." That"s probably as specific as you can get in defining what illiteracy is all about.
In some societies, the standards for what constitute literacy are different from others. For example, some cultures believe that only people with skills such as computers skills and basic numeracy may be considered literate. This takes into account the fact that there are people who can add and subtract, but can"t read letters as well as people who can learn to use a computer to a limited extent but may still not be able to read text..
On a global level, analysts and policy makers consider illiteracy rates as an important factor in a country"s or a region"s "human capital," and with good reason, as it turns out. Based on numerous studies into this area, they conclude that literate people are easier and less expensive to train and have broader job opportunities and access to higher education.
However, it is important to note that illiteracy rates vary widely from country to country and often are directly proportionate to a country"s wealth or urbanization level, although many other factors play a determining role.
For certain, no one is going to solve this problem for us! If we do not find a...