The Causes of Illiteracy in Africa.

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Causes of illiteracy in Africa have since the dawn or advent of universal education become some phenomenon which may however appear undemystifiable to many of the interested elites, scholars, academics, and researchers whose visions and goals are to have an educated Africa.

Without question and vain search outside this shores, Africa is where the factors contributing to illiteracy are most present: the highest proportion of children who do not have access to primary education or leave school early (40%), or who have not even mastered basic skills at the end of primary school (50%), with a high risk of falling into illiteracy. Illiteracy affects an individual in all areas of their life. An illiterate individual cannot read and write, and thus cannot join the workforce or may work as unskilled labor, lack awareness to make an informed decision which affects them and their community.

Although a low level of literacy is not a direct determinant for a person’s probability to be convicted on criminal charges, correctional and judicial professionals have long recognized a connection between poor literacy, dropout rates, and crime. Illiteracy is therefore a dangerous flea that must be done away with if AFRICA ever dreams to develop.

The Causes of Illiteracy in Africa.

Below are listed some of the causes of illiteracy in Africa.

1. Socio-economic Crisis

One of the prominent causes of illiteracy in Africa is the daily socioeconomic crisis which the higher percentage of its peoples are constantly faced with. This crisis could also be said to mean poverty. Poverty in Africa is a major problem why many Africans can have no access to simple formal education, let alone the quality one. It is also a contributory factor to why a large number of children drop out of school. With this crisis, schools cannot be built, clothes cannot be worn, food not eaten, and every other basic needs without which education cannot be taken seriously or encouraged.

2. Political Corruption

Another one of the causes of illiteracy in Africa is the high and uncontrollable wave of the parasite called corruption among African political leaders. Corruption, like every other debilitating challenges that encumbers development and growth in all areas of government in Africa, is unashamedly high and thus, it is adversely affecting the academic conditions of the African schools, teachers, and children. If this is not stopped, literacy in Africa will continue to be illusory.

3. Lack of Infrastructure

The following are the graver problems lack of social infrastructure can promote if it is not quickly improved on: poor standard living, economic deficit, productivity decline, and free trade barriers that have negative impact on economic development and lastly, by implication, poor funding of education which results in high rise of illiteracy level. This also is one of the causes of illiteracy in Africa.

4. Glorification of Mediocrity

Africa seems to glorify mediocre ideas, songs, and ways of life than they should glorify education. This is one of the many causes of illiteracy in Africa.

5. Material Property over Moral Values

A society where material property and money are compensated with excess respect and political offices or chieftaincy titles will automatically cause and promote illiteracy among its youth. Africa is a continent where, because of the high poverty level, people with no ideas or educational background are accorded respect and prioritized because they have money. There is no way the youth will pay attention to waiting to get trained before they begin to pursue property and money too and this will in the end increase illiteracy in the continent.

6. Gender Discrimination

Men participated more in an active learning course in science, technology, engineering and math, while women reported lower perceptions of their scientific abilities, were more aware of gender identity and more likely to feel judged based on gender. Besides promoting gender inequality, gender bias creates learning inequality in the classroom and sets limits on future potential. Students who are socialized into a stereotypical gender role tend to behave in ways that limit their holistic development and often develop learning, behavior, and emotional problems. This then promotes illiteracy among one gender class than the other.

7. Lack of Expertise in Technological Facilities

Another one of the causes of illiteracy in Africa is the problem of lack of skill or expertise in technology. Teachers can leverage technology to achieve new levels of productivity, implement useful digital tools to expand learning opportunities for students, and increase student support and engagement. It also enables teachers to improve their instruction methods and personalize learning. Without expertise in the modern technological facilities that are currently being adopted in western and civilized worlds for education to be effective, Africa will definitely find itself lagging far behind in the business of imparting knowledge (Education) and this too may be identified as illiteracy.


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