In the world there are huge disparities in literacy rates from country to country. Some states such as Mali are in a situation where under 30% of their citizens could read and write in 2008. This is compared to places like Canada where we have near 100% literacy amongst our people.
“Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfilment, happiness and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. Literacy... means far more than learning how to read and write... The aim is to transmit... knowledge and promote social participation.”
- UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg, Germany
Literacy in this essay is defined as people aged 15 and up who are literate.
Inequality of literacy can lead to harmful trends and stagnation in the areas of economics, politics, and society.
Literacy and Economics With lower literacy comes many problems. less communication, because passing of information becomes more difficult if it cannot be written or read and must be spoken. A less educated country will have a less skilled workforce and so will have lower paying jobs if any, Mali has a GDP per capita of $1,100. A under skilled workforce will only learn what their parents know and stay in the family business, 80% of the Mali workforce is engaged in farming or fishing. This leads to economic stagnation and a lesser growth trade and investment. The economies in the
A period where an economy grows at an extremely low rate without actually entering a recession. During stagnation, it is unlikely that jobs will be created, wages will increase, or that the stock market will boom.
Agriculture may produce only 37% of GDP but it has the largest workforce in the country. Many Malians just farm for sustenance and do not have much excess for trade or profit.
Literacy is very important when it comes to politics and the law. When a law is proposed or instituted and much of the population cannot read it, and so cannot get a clear understanding of the law, it is very hard for them to have any semblance of control over their political leaders and corruption can run uninhibited throughout parliament, congress, or whatever governing system that country may have. It becomes even more difficult for the people to change an oppressive law or stand up for themselves when their opinions will be dismissed because they cant even read. The people of these countries become trapped by their governments and continue to be uneducated, and unskilled.
Literacy and Politics
“Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.” - Kelly L. Briggs, "Reading in the Classroom" (2003)
Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” - Harry S. Truman
Literacy and Society
Lower literacy rates are characteristic to poorer countries. This poverty is what leads to many of the overall problems in these countries. People are to poor to send their many children to school and need help running the farm and taking care of the other children. This leads to more uneducated children and more large poor families. Trapping Malians and others with the same predicament in these social structures that are unfavourable and unfair. They have no books to teach them what they can do to improve the situation, their government is no help with all the corruption involved, so they go with what they know, what