Literacy: The Alleviation of Poverty by John Jezzinni

December 12, 2022

Literacy is a potential path ahead for reducing poverty to its barest minimum in a world where poverty is on the rise, resulting in an excessive number of people who are not in school, have dropped out of school, or are illiterate. In our conversation with John Jezzini today, we will go into the multiple ways that literacy may assist in reducing the prevalence of poverty in today’s culture.

Q: How does Literacy improve the standard of living of a common person?

A: One significant socioeconomic determinant in poverty is illiteracy. One in two people in developing nations is illiterate, and the situation is far worse in rural regions, particularly for women and children. UNESCO is trying to promote activities in this area and to demonstrate how literacy decreases poverty. Children and children who reside in rural regions “have limited access to educational opportunities or programs for skill development, and overall, the quality of education in rural areas is often poor owing to poverty and limited investment resources,” according to UNICEF.

Furthermore, many kids drop out of school after finishing elementary school, leaving them without the literacy and skills they need to live. According to UNESCO, “literacy is a basic human right and the basis for lifelong learning.” It is necessary for social and human development in that it can change lives. A literate community is a vibrant group that debates and shares ideas. However, a lack of literacy prevents people from living better lives and may lead to isolation and violence. To reduce global illiteracy, a better understanding of literacy difficulties is essential. The primary objective of UNESCO will be to persuade governments in developing nations to see education as a vital tool for promoting development and change, as well as for eradicating poverty and empowering individuals.

A representative for UNESCO said that “the administrative authorities of these countries must emphasize the development and supply of access to basic education to children under the age of 15.” Governments should provide literacy programs and training in fundamental skills to those who dropped out of school or never had any formal education. In addition, UNESCO hopes to launch “livelihood-oriented adult non-formal education programs” this year in collaboration with other community-based groups to advance education, lower illiteracy rates, and relieve poverty. Introducing a program focusing on livelihood-oriented projects this year will add a new form of energy to the endeavor, which has been a priority for UNESCO for over 60 years.

Q: John Jezzini, How does the ability to read and write enrich the poor?

To argue that reading and writing may make one’s life better is something that seems like a straightforward statement to make. Is it equally self-evident, on the other hand, that 171 million individuals would be able to pull themselves out of poverty if everyone were literate? These seemingly little abilities have the potential to transform our planet. Literacy completely helps battle poverty in a variety ways, many of which are not well known, and the impacts of literacy extend far beyond the confines of any one school, and they include:

  • The Economy of Literacy

The capacity of a population to spend is the single most important factor determining the health of an economy; This can only be accomplished by creating more opportunities, encouraging skill development, improving job conditions, and increasing wages.

The development of new work opportunities is the most successful strategy in the fight against poverty, and the only path to greater employment opportunities is the improvement of educational opportunities. It is anticipated that gaining one year of education would raise the amount of money earned via wages by 10 percent on average, and in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, by as much as 13 percent.

The data speak for themselves. Illiteracy is estimated to cost the global economy around $1.19 trillion annually. On the other hand, literacy helps combat poverty and contributes to the economic stability of emerging countries.

  • Literacy and Health

Literacy is an effective weapon against poverty in the field of healthcare. Literate people can better comprehend issues relating to their health and better educate themselves on matters of medical treatment. This is of the utmost significance in developing nations, where disease prevalence can perpetuate a cycle of poverty. The following statements can be drawn from the statistics that link literacy and generational health:

  • The newborn mortality rate is projected to drop by 9% for every year of acquired schooling.
  • Children who can read and write have a 24 percent lower risk of being underweight or malnutrition.
  • Reading and writing abilities are protective factors against the spread of contagious illnesses.
  • Education for mothers may assist reduce the severity of the impacts of illnesses such as pneumonia.
  • Literacy Empowers

Disparity, especially inequality between men and women, stifles economies and limits generational progress. Women make up around two-thirds of the world’s population that is illiterate. The fact that 15 million girls under 18 get married yearly should not come as a surprise considering the damaging societal dynamics in so many developing countries. When these girls cannot afford a proper education, they often believe this is their only alternative.

Women who get an education gain independence and the ability to control their life. Education helps people develop their sense of autonomy and creative and critical thinking abilities, all of which contribute to a more robust economy and community. The World Bank reports that women who have completed higher levels of education have a lower risk of disease, fewer children, and are married later in life.

  • Resilience and Community

Literacy is a powerful weapon against poverty because it expands opportunities. Without the ability to read and write, millions of people are locked in a cell of uncertainty. Reading and writing have boosted one’s self-confidence, made more well-informed judgments, and opened up new employment opportunities.

In addition, literacy offers diversions and other routes away from the possibility of engaging in criminal activity or serving as a child soldier. Literacy reduces the risk of violent crime and robbery by half, making it one of the most important factors in society.

Resilience on an unprecedented scale is required to triumph over challenges of this size. Education instills in one the willpower necessary to construct it. Literacy has never been more important than it is now, given that 123 million people in the globe between the ages of 15 and 24 are illiterate.

Q: John Jezzini, How do you believe that Literacy will fight Poverty?

A: New information reveals, as stated in the Global Education Monitoring Report published by the United Nations, that an increase of only two years in the average number of years that individuals spend in school might assist in lifting approximately 60 million people out of poverty. If eradicating poverty is the ultimate objective, then increasing literacy levels is the best place to begin. Literacy is the foundation upon which other aspects of growth may be achieved.

Q: What are your final words, John Jezzini?

A: Literacy not only affords individuals the chance to acquire the abilities necessary to support themselves and their families, but it also benefits subsequent generations by elevating their achievement standards and boosting their sense of personal worth. Literacy is a powerful weapon against poverty, just as the feet of a duck are a powerful weapon against the water below them. A lot of effort goes under the surface, even if it isn’t always visible.