Decoding Global Illiteracy: Causes, Consequences, Fixes

Dec 27, 2023

Education and economic prosperity are often intertwined. Generally, there is a strong correlation between a country’s literacy rate and its economic status. This correlation extends to individuals, where one's economic well-being is heavily dependent on their level of education. Therefore, an individual's education plays a crucial role in determining their economic prosperity.

There are a plethora of factors which restrict acquisition of this fundamental human necessity. According to a UNESCO publication, the eradication of poverty and the provision of equitable and quality education are two intricately linked Sustainable Development Goals. So all evidence suggests that in a society where rampant poverty is prominent, illiteracy will also be just as prevalent. It could be argued that poverty and illiteracy are two sides of the same coin. Both of these pressing issues are interlinked with each other. Hence the suppression of poverty is a viable yet unconventional way to plummet the illiteracy rate.

The issue of poverty falls under the umbrella of discrimination which plays a role in many ways.

According to the UN statistics, almost 3.4 billion people live in rural areas. This information is especially integral to the education sector because rural areas tend to have less education infrastructure and fewer up-to-date technologies. Additionally, their inhabitants are generally more digitally illiterate as compared to the urban population. Furthermore, the concept of e-learning is often unfamiliar to both students and teachers in rural areas. Albeit this is a daunting task, more than half of the world’s population is living with little to no access to e-learning, so this is an extremely urgent issue that through correspondence can be dealt with.

After establishing the causes, I would now like to explore some solutions to this predicament.

There should be an exponential increase in initiatives taken by international organizations, such as UNESCO and UNICEF, including the establishment of a task force composed of experts in the field of e-learning and education. Collaboration with member nations and relevant stakeholders should be promoted to develop guidelines and recommendations for inclusive e-learning without any regard for gender discrimination. Moreover, first and second-world countries should conduct "certified teacher training sessions" in third-world countries. These sessions should include programs that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators, with special emphasis on technical skills. All of these efforts aim to devise creative and innovative ways to make learning more interactive and enjoyable for students.

In addition, initiatives like those of the Chilean educational authorities identifying the 900 poorest schools in their country in terms of the quality of education should be encouraged. This approach provides nations with specific areas on which to focus. The Chilean government has significantly improved the conditions of these schools and regularly researches the outcomes of these improvements and how they positively impact students in such schools. This initiative, known as the "P900 Project," has proven instrumental in improving literacy rates.

Additionally, the use of free educational websites, such as ZNotes, needs to be encouraged. These platforms can provide compensation to children who cannot go to schools due to financial or family restrictions. Without discrimination they provide top notch study materials and to top it all off, they require no fee to access.

Education is a medium for us to metamorphose into better humans. The people who are deprived of this necessity are fated to be ostracized and shunned by society. Education is the cornerstone of our society, it acts as the foundation for it. For a building to stand the tests of time it first of all needs to have a fortified foundation. Similarly, for our society to stand the test of time, it is essential for our foundation to also be impenetrable and indestructible.