If you’re reading this post, you’re among the 84%―globally―who can read.
Being in that majority is terrific, right?
But what about the 16% who are unable to read and write?
This year, we have over 7.3 billion global neighbours. It means that the 16% equates to―well, you do the math―staggering millions of adults worldwide who have little or no reading skills. What’s even worse, two-thirds of that illiterate population is women!
“If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”
― Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey, Ghanaian scholar
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics, and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman, and child can realize his or her full potential.”
― Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General
Jamaica understands what’s at stake, and is once again on board with the efforts of global agencies to promote literacy this year.
Consequently, the Ministry of Education is joining the Jamaica Library Service and the Jamaica Reading Association to host exhibitions and “read aloud” sessions, among other related activities today.
And as a stroke of perfect timing, the Little Lion Reading Tour begins tomorrow, thus maintaining the momentum of today’s literacy focus.
Because if we want a literate and sustainable world, we need to increase that 84% to 100%.