Illiteracy

Poor Education/Lack of Education/Illiteracy

Illiteracy Definition:

1) A lack of ability to read and write. 2) The state of being illiterate; lack of any or enough education.

Children in developing nations have limited access to education, which limits opportunity and reduces potential. (see website)

Stats and Facts

Here are some basic facts and figures about illiteracy:

  • There are approximately one billion nonliterate adults (persons 15 years old and above) in the world today.
  • Ninety-eight percent of all nonliterates are in developing nations.
  • Two-thirds of all nonliterates are women.
  • One-half of all nonliterates are in India and China.
  • It is estimated that 30-50 million people are added each year to the numbers of nonliterates.
  • Twenty-seven percent of all adults are nonliterate.
  • Africa, as a continent, has a literacy rate of less than 50 percent.
  • Worldwide, the percentage of adult illiteracy is declining, but the absolute number of nonliterates is increasing.
  • In the poorer nations, population growth is believed to be a primary source of growth in the number of nonliterates.

See full site here

This article that I found on UNICEF’s site is a little old but very informative on illiteracy…

Education For All: Making the right a reality
“More than 130 million children of primary school age in developing countries,
including 73 million girls, are growing up without access to basic education,”
says Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF. The world can no
longer afford such an enormous waste of human potential.
Nearly a billion people, two thirds of them women, will enter the 21st century
unable to read a book or sign their names — much less operate a computer
or understand a simple application form. And they will live, as now, in more
desperate poverty and poorer health than most of those who can. They are the
world’s functional illiterates — and their numbers are growing.
The consequences of illiteracy are profound, even potentially life-threatening.
They flow from the denial of a fundamental human right: the right to education,
proclaimed in agreements ranging from the 50-year-old Universal
Declaration of Human Rights to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the
Child, the world’s most universally embraced human rights instrument. This
right has been a topic of discussion in numerous international meetings over
the past 50 years and in every major United Nations summit and conference of
the past decade.

The Right to Education
An education revolution is absolutely essential. An estimated 855 million people
(more than one sixth of humanity) will be functionally illiterate at the end of this century. At the same time, more than 130 million children of primary school age in the developing
countries, including 73 million girls, are growing up without access to basic education.
Millions of others languish in sub-standard learning situations where little learning takes place. Without an education, people cannot work productively, care for their health, sustain and protect themselves and their families or live culturally enriched lives. Illiteracy makes it difficult for them to interact in society in a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance and gender equality among all peoples and groups. On a society-wide scale, the denial of education harms the cause of democracy and social progress — and, by extension, international peace and security.

Millennium Development Goals:

1. to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

2. to achieve universal primary education.

(See site on MDG’s)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Article 28 (summary) Children have a right to education. Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity. Primary education should be free. Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

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