WHAT IS ILLITERACY?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines illiteracy as the quality or state of being illiterate, i.e. inability to read and write. True as this might be, but could this really qualify what illiteracy really is?; lets take another definition by Paul Adepoju, "illiteracy is the inability of an individual to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts". This to me is a better definition of illiteracy. Illiteracy goes beyond just reading and writing. Illiteracy also involves human basic reasoning, understanding, creativity, and communication.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ILLITERACY?
Several factors result in illiteracy. Some of these include;
- INEFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT SYSTEM: When the government of a nation pays little attention to the educational sector, there is bound to be an increase in the level of illiteracy in that nation. Until governmental bodies see education as the bedrock or foundation of any nation, the educational system is bound to fail.
- CORRUPTION: As abstract as this may be, it is one of the leading causes of high level of illiteracy especially in developing nations. Stories have been told were monies meant to be invested in the educational sector are being diverted by corrupt government officials for their personal interests. Until the level of corruption in any nation is checked and controlled, funds meant for specific projects (not only in the educational sector) will end up being embezzled or misused.
- UNDER-QUALIFIED TUTORS: This is prevalent in many developing and under-developed nations especially. When we have people in the system who teach not because they have passion for it, but because they want to get paid at the end of every month; the educational system is bound to be unstable resulting in the production of "under-baked" or "half-baked" graduates who contribute little or nothing to the growth of the nation.
Having said all these, it is necessary that you now know the five (5) "wonderful" things about illiteracy.
- POVERTY: Research has it that majority of the poor all over the world are illiterates. This set of people can only have access to unskilled low paying jobs, high level of drudgery in farm work leading to low yield and thus leading to very low income. They constitute a majority of the population in most under-developed countries and in some developing countries.
- INSURGENCY: Research has shown that nations recording high levels of insurgency are those plagued by low/ineffective educational systems. Illiteracy brings about a high level of gullibility; thus people are easily brainwashed into carrying out certain acts which are detrimental to the peace and security of the nation.
- FOOD SECURITY: This is a situation where food is readily Available, Accessible and Affordable. Countries with high levels of illiteracy are characterised by low food production. This is because they have little or no access to high yielding seed varieties, technological know-how and best farm management practices. These countries most times cannot produce enough food to carter for their population and in most cases resort to international aids.
- POLITICAL INSTABILITY: This can likewise be called "civil unrest". Due to the high level of poverty in these nations, people resort to doing anything possible to survive. This people fall prey to evil politicians/government officials (permit me to say) who cease the opportunity to make use of this vulnerable individuals (youths especially), to cause unrest in the society. This is a common occurrence in some developing countries; especially during election periods.
- CRAWLING ECONOMY: A nation where more than half of its citizens is illiterate is bound to be very slow in terms of progress. This is because all the sectors that make up the economy will be affected. Take for instance the health sector; when half-baked doctors are chunked out of the university/college, there is bound to be a FLAW in the health care delivery system of that nation, impeding development.
Having given this five (5) points, only those who understand what EUPHEMISM or IRONY is, will understand the term "WONDERFUL" as used in the title of this work.
Thanks for your time and feel free to drop your comments.