Illiteracy is a persistent reality that affects millions of people around the world. Despite advances in education and technology, this social scourge remains a global challenge that requires urgent attention. What are the causes of this problem? There are consequences, as well as possible solutions.
Illiteracy is a big problem
According to recent statistics, nearly 244 million children and adolescents in the world are not enrolled in any educational institution. Additionally, approximately 763 million youth and adults lack basic reading and writing skills. This panorama reflects a worrying violation of the fundamental right to education.
Although literacy rates have seen steady growth since the 20th century, it was after the middle of the 20th century that it accelerated significantly, making education a global priority. According to UNESCO, the youth literacy rate reached almost 92% in 2019, up from 77% in 1975, indicating notable progress.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education. School closures during the initial stages of the pandemic affected approximately 62% of the global student population, significantly disrupting the educational process.
It is essential to address this challenge and promote inclusive and accessible education for all, as illiteracy limits access to information, employment and personal development. International cooperation and renewed commitment to education are essential to overcome this global education crisis.
Causes that generate it and consequences
Illiteracy has diverse causes, such as lack of access to education and socioeconomic factors. Extreme poverty in developing countries forces children to leave school to work and help their families. Furthermore, gender discrimination, especially towards girls, limits their educational opportunities.
The consequences of illiteracy are serious at both the individual and community levels. Illiterate people face difficulties in finding decent employment, which perpetuates poverty. Furthermore, they are limited in their civic and political participation, undermining democracy and sustainable development.
Illiteracy and women
Promoting female literacy plays a crucial role in improving health, nutrition and family education, as well as empowering women to participate in decision-making in society.
According to the UN, there is a significant disparity between girls' and boys' access to primary education, with ten million more girls excluded. Furthermore, statistics show that two-thirds of people who cannot read or write are women.
Possible solutions and strategies
To address illiteracy, inclusive and accessible educational policies are required, involving the expansion of free basic education and teacher training. Furthermore, it is significant to confront structural barriers such as poverty and discrimination.
Technology plays a key role in this fight, offering digital tools such as mobile apps and online learning programs. These resources can reach remote communities and provide quality education at low cost.
Illiteracy is a complex problem that needs a collaborative and multidimensional approach. By addressing its underlying causes and promoting inclusive education, we can close the global literacy gap and move towards a more equitable and just world for all.