guide to: Ten things you should know about world literacy


photo courtesy of Pratham books, Flickr

Orginally posted on by SARAH NELSON, Contributing Writer

1. An estimated 26 percent of the global population, one billion adults around the world, are unable to read or write.

2. Two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. The gender education gap is improving, but girls are often given an inferior education to their male classmates and are left unprepared to enter the job market. In many countries, like Malawi, girls are forced to leave school at a young age to enter into forced marriages.

3. Globally, more than 100 million children are denied access to primary education. Enrollment fees often prevent impoverished families from enrolling their children in school. Children, especially girls, of educated mothers are more likely to be enrolled in school.

4. A child who attends school will earn an additional 10 percent of income for each year of schooling they complete. Children who complete primary school are half as likely to become infected with HIV/AIDS then if they did not complete their primary education.

5. A staggering 98 percent of illiterate adults live in developing countries.

6. As a continent, Africa’s overall literacy rate is less than 60 percent. In the last 30 years, primary school enrollment has dropped from 58 percent to about 50 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

7. Literacy affects income. Per capita annual income in countries with a literacy rate less than 55 percent is about $600, as opposed to per capita income in countries with a literacy at about 96 percent, which is about $12,600.

8. Thirty million Americans over the age of 16, about 14 percent of the total population, cannot read well enough to properly fill out a job application or understand a newspaper story written at an eighth grade reading level.

9. Virtually every socio-economic issue in the United Sates can be connected to low literacy rates. Approximately 60 percent of federal inmates are unable to read or write. Low health literacy costs are estimated as high as $238 billion annually. Low adult literacy is connected to crime, loss of tax revenue and unemployment, costing the U.S. about $225 billion every year.

10. By 2015, the United Nations hopes to meet the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education, which would require the enrollment of every child, boy or girl, in every nation in the world.

Orginally posted on by SARAH NELSON, Contributing Writer

March 30, 2010 by Stefani
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