Wednesday, November 09, 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Illiteracy 'hinders world's poor'

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Illiteracy 'hinders world's poor'

BBC carries this story on the link between illiteracy and poverty. It's another point in favour of focusing on literacy as a driver of development. I would agree that literacy is important, but to play the devil's advocate here, the article fails to make a strong case for the link between redusing illiteracy and increasing people's economic wellbeing. Sure, it shows that there is a link between poverty and illiteracy, with the poorest regions of the world having the lrgest percentagees of illiterate people, but stops there. As a former professor of mine would say 'correlation does not imply causality'

File under: education, literacy

1 comment:

Nwokedi said...

I think you have some points and I believe there is more to education that we may know later. I like application of thought, more high paying jobs as a result of education but education can also be a standard towards getting it right in terms of development.

I think literary is needed for development and growth. It is not literacy per se but understanding the environment and how to apply techniques to manipulate the environment to generate positive results for yourself and country. BY manipulating the environment I do not mean destruction although it comes with the territory sometimes but knowing and understanding the structures in the environment and how to change them to produce a better living standard for you self and your loved ones. Litearcy does this, especially education by allocating thought to bright minds to devise better ways to succeed and passing down that knowledge to everyone, atleast the basics to everyone.
An example is farming many in Africa are/were subsistence farmers but there are some people who believe markets may be better way for survival in the long run. By markets I mean an exchange not only for local(which as always been in existence) but for regional consumption. TOday countries like India, China Malaysia export us their food stock while our production of rice is growing marginally. I think we need eduction to generate ways to move forward. The mistake some make is that what it is right now works well or is right instead of thinking beyond the present. But one may never know what is right until you pierce further or think anew and getting it right may mean more ways to improve our standard of living, advance thought and learn about new things. Education is a bridge towards that. And also education may lead to more application of advance methods on the job, this improves solving complex problems and makes us understand the environment better.