Relieving Illiteracy Worldwide


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Even in 2010, much of the world remains illiterate. Nearly twenty percent of the world's population cannot read or write simple words. Many of the illiterate reside in third world countries, and are mainly comprised of women and children. Without the ability to read, these women and future adults have a harder time providing for their families than those who can read. This makes them more likely to live in impoverished conditions indefinitely. In order to relieve illiteracy, education and financing hold the key.

Education can have the greatest impact on literacy. Many countries have a hard time providing enough educators to their people. Teaching reading takes time and practice and there are simply not enough teachers to go around. It takes time to train an educator to teach others how to read. In addition, it is most effective to hold reading classes for many people at a time. Students can attend class together and provide each other with practice and support. Training tools and materials must be provided in native languages in order to train the educators thoroughly and teach the students. It is especially important that a person learn how to read and write in their native language first. There are many programs available for learning English, but this would not be helpful for people in many counties. Each country has their own language that will be most useful to a person living there, because most documents and signs will be in their native language. By learning how to form letters and decipher their meaning, a person has the ability to apply for a job and be able to provide for their families.

However, without the proper financing, education will not happen. It is very expensive to train educators, provide materials, and allow a place for classes to be held. Government funding for literacy is usually pushed aside for other purposes. Some governments do not believe that the ability for their people to read is important. There are many non-profit agencies that are specifically designed to help with improving literacy rates because of this. These agencies have been able to provide many of the tools to help relieve illiteracy, but they need more money to reach more people. By funding these programs, people will start to rely on themselves to provide for their families. In turn, programs that give food and health care to these countries will be less needed. By learning to read, impoverished families can be empowered to be successful on their own.

Copyright Diane Beacon