Why do adults need to be literate?
- To provide that first learning environment to their children: Any kid's first teacher is his or her mother. A mother sings lullabies, reads picture books, reads “baby’s first 100 words” and sing poems to him or her. Long before the kid goes to kindergarten (normally at age 5), his home is his school. Imagine a home with low literacy levels, which means, mother and father are not literate enough to create that learning atmosphere at home. It is a weak start for that kid. Adults need to be literate so that they can encourage their kids to be literate from the very beginning
- To take care of their and their families’ health: A literate person can read basic things with ease and speed. He is alert and aware. It is important for adults to be literate so that they can be healthy and hence their families. Adults with sufficient literacy levels can understand and read doctor’s suggestions and orders, understand how to take prescription medicines, will know how to buy and take over-the-counter medicines. They can read useful information regarding preventive care and immunizations.
- To be an active participant in the community: Without basic reading, writing, and technology skills, it will be difficult for any person to read the newspapers, community flyers, and other print/online content. This literacy skill is needed so that the person is abreast with what is going on around him as well as in the world. This helps in his thought process and forming of opinions. Only with proper knowledge, he can be an active member in the community. Only then he knows what his rights and responsibilities are.
- To stay away from criminal activities: According to Proliteracy, “more than 45 percent of all inmates in local jails, 40 percent in state facilities, and 27 percent in federal corrections institutions did not graduate from high school.” There is certainly a connection between illiteracy and the crime-rate. It is very likely that an illiterate person is unemployed or earns very low wages, is prompt to get into easy and wrong moneymaking.
- To be rightly employed: Low literacy levels affects the prospects of getting employment and thereby the deserved earnings. Adults without a high school education are more likely to be unemployed. Low literacy levels also result in people taking up low-wage jobs, creating a circle of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. According to the National Council for Adult Learning, “Individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average.“
Literacy is essential to deal with socio-economic issues like poverty, unemployment, and inequality. For adults to be good parents, active community members, and efficient employees, it is important that they are able to read, write, do Math, solve problems and to be able to conveniently use technology. Only with literacy, any nation can have growth and all-round development of not just one stratum of society, but the entire nation. Learn more about various literacy programs and classes run by Vision Literacy. Use them yourselves or refer to someone who can benefit themselves, their kids and families.