The United Nations defines illiteracy as one’s “inability to read and write a simple sentence in any language.” In underdeveloped countries, more than 135 million children between 7 and 18 were never able to go to school. More than 100 million children aged 6 to 12 worldwide are not enrolled in primary school. And more than 137 million young people enter adulthood without the basic skills of literacy (Oernan, 2006). This data implies that illiteracy is not limited to impoverished countries only as even the developed countries experience face problems on illiteracy. This paper investigates the causes and accompanying effects of illiteracy.
One of the most evident causes of illiteracy is poverty. Due to poverty, people are deprived of access to educational reading, writing materials and all other agents of quality education. When a parent is illiterate, their families end up in a generational cycle of lack of education and poverty. During the first few years of their lives, children with illiterate parents are given with very few opportunities to read, write, and learn common communication codes. Uneducated parents oftentimes do not aspire of sending their children to school. We see children being forced to work at a very young age instead of going to school. Some families resort to child labor so that they will have food on their table. According to a recent research, millions of people live with less than $1 a day. This daily budget is less than enough for their food; they cannot allocate more money on schooling. Moreover, poverty leads to poor nutrition. We cannot expect malnourished children to go to school or to perform better in school. Oftentimes, malnourishment becomes so big of a problem that these children oftentimes opt to drop-out of school.
Illiterate and hungry people in poor health no longer aspire for higher education and often immigrate into urban areas with the hopes to improve their quality of life by engaging to odd jobs, stealing,...
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