Why Literacy is Important in Education

It is not funny seeing how the world is constantly married to illiteracy. The question, why literacy is important in education, is a needed zeal that must be buoyed to cushion the dangerous recoil that such unfortunate marriage could bring on the progress of peoples across the globe.

Literacy and education cannot be mutually exclusive in that both of them work hand in hand to engender the kind of efficacy that is expected. Education is a promising enterprise and as so it is a seed that yields more than the good that is bargained for at the end of the day. So, to deprive one’s self of the privilege of becoming literate is like being barefacedly disinclined to education as a tool of national/global development and growth.

Literacy explains the ability to read and write. Without restrictions, the ability to read and write also involves the ability to understand what is read as this will enable the skills of writing. Needless is it to stress further the essence or the indispensability of this ability in our various journeys of acquiring education as the compound skill to gaining practical mastery.

According to UNESCO, literacy is a continuum of learning and proficiency in reading, writing and using numbers throughout life and is part of a larger set of skills, which include digital skills, media literacy, education for sustainable development and global citizenship as well as job-specific skills.

What cannot be shoved into oblivion, having come to light of what is said above, is the necessity which behooves us to always consider the connection which is shared by education and the ability to read, write and understand. In fulfilment of this pledge, it is time we checked the reasons why literacy is important in education:

Transformation of Students’ Social Character

Nowadays, even phone calls have given way to instant messaging and text-based communication, making the ability to read all the more important.

But beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.

Overall Development of the Society and the Individual

The most working answer to the question, why literacy is important in education, is pinpointing and reiterating the fact that literacy can bring about the overall development of the society and the individual. Learning to read in the first years of primary school is critical for retention and success in future grades. Literacy is the cornerstone of development. It leads to better health, better employment opportunities, safer and more stable societies.

Read Also: 5 Ways Illiteracy Can Affect Democracy

Gainful Employment for Graduating Students

Literacy is essential for employment. At the most basic level, without it, it becomes challenging to search for or read a job advertisement, put together a CV, or read an employment contract.

Within the discourse of the ‘future of work’, where an ever growing number of individuals and organizations are putting together lists of the must have skills and competencies for work in the twenty-first century, literacy, while often missing from the lists underpins nearly all of the skills identified.

In order to be able to think analytically and critically, to continually learn, to make effective decisions, or to be cognitively flexible, it is essential that one has the ability to engage with, understand and apply the ever increasing flow of information and knowledge that surrounds them.

Enabler of Civic Responsibility for Students as Citizens

Literacy is at the heart of much civic engagement. Not only is much of the information released by the government and its associated agencies written, poor literacy also affects an individual’s ability to vote and therefore to engage in one of the foundations of democracy.

Literacy also plays a fundamental role in everyday life; from being able to read labels on food at the supermarket, to reading road signs, to reading menus at the local café, or browsing the internet (not to mention being able to utilize the internet to leverage the ongoing learning opportunities that it offers).

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