Meaning, Causes and Consequences of Illiteracy

Causes, Consequences And Solution of Illiteracy


What is Illiteracy?

Illiteracy is the inability to read and write of an individual. It is a condition marked by a complete lack of reading and writing knowledge. The person is unable to communicate using the generally accepted form of communication, which in Nigeria is typically English. When a person lacks exposure to fundamental knowledge necessary for adjustment and societal integration.

Meaning, Causes and Consequences of Illiteracy

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Causes Of Illiteracy


1. Traditional/Religious Values

Certain cultures and traditional ways of life that are opposed to western education and socialization, or the learning and general education, promote illiteracy. These beliefs encompass prejudice against women, poor educational opportunities for girls, and early mariage for tenage girls.
Additionally, such ideals encourage kids to work in farms and engage in small-time business instead of attending school. Some male children are encouraged to pursue Koranic studies and to beg for alms as a method of survival in the Islamic Northern region of the country. These beliefs and behaviors support illiteracy in the community.


2. Poverty

Children from poor homes do not attend school. These kids are either employed as domestic helpers by the rich or are forced to work as children in demeaning jobs like street hawking and bartering.


3. Poor Policy Implementation by the Government

While most government policies are admirable, their execution is sometimes inconsistent and rigid. Even if the population find the policy of free and affordable education appealing, it has not proven to be reliable or consistent. Government education initiatives are typically transient or temporary.
The current Universal Basic Education (UBE), the 6334 system of education in Nigeria, and Universal Primary Education (UPE) are sincere attempts to reduce illiteracy. However, because of ineffective planning and management techniques, their implementation has consistently failed. This is not a motivator for learning. Furthermore, the majority of graduates from higher education institutions and new graduates are unemployed. This discourages other individuals from enrolling in educational institutions.

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4. The incorrect attitude toward education

Some societies do not value education. This is true for typical agricultural and farming regions. They mock the educated class, portraying them as slackers incapable of working the land to feed their families and meet their basic necessities. Successful illiterate parents frequently believe that sending kids to school is a waste of time and money. Therefore, such parents do not see the sense in rejecting government initiatives to enhance and fund education.


5. Limited and Inadequate Facilities

The government provides substandard educational infrastructure. There aren’t enough classrooms, desks, and chairs in certain schools. Under the sun and the rain, children learn in open, unfriendly environments. Government doesn’t take teacher’s wellbeing seriously. As a result, instructors frequently go on strike, which throws off the school schedule and wastes the time of the students and teachers. These elements undermine education and worsen the illiteracy issue.


6. Limited Access

Not all kids have the opportunity to attend formal school. In addition to poverty, additional societal issues and parents’ professional obligations make it difficult for their kids to obtain education. Children of fishermen and nomads who travel from place to place are not opportuned to attend school. Government initiatives to establish Nomadic education programs and other special schools have not much improved the problem.
This is because learning and teaching both need for a certain level of comfort on the part of the teacher and the student. There are places in the nation where the location makes it nearly impossible to get to school, such the riverine and hilly regions.

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Consequences Of Illiteracy


1. Ignorance

According to a proverb, ignorance is a disease. One’s capacity for thought and reasoning is constrained by ignorance. An uninformed person cannot meaningfully participate in a conversation that seeks to solve an issue. Through education, a person develops critical thinking skills and a mindset that allows them to contribute ideas that will help address problems.


2. Proneness To Manipulation

Lack of literacy leaves a person open to trickery and manipulation from neighbors or friends. An ignorant individual is simpler to drag into mischief. Because illiterate people may not understand the full consequences of a situation, it is simpler to take advantage of them in a transaction.
The elite can easily instigate or start a crisis in society by using illiterate people. They might be encouraged to use violence against society by motivating them to weaponize themselves. A large portion of terrorist worldwide including Boko Haram’s issues are brought on by illiteracy and a negative perspective.


3. Ethnic Manipulations

Illiteracy makes it easier for politicians or members of the educated class to incite ethnic sentiment in order to win votes.Less educated individuals are more vulnerable to ethnic manipulation than the literate populace.


4. Barrier To Technological Advancement

A lack of literacy stops people from developing their abilities and talents. This deprives society of these people’s contributions to technological and societal advancement.

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5. Abuse of Right

The right to education is one of a citizen’s civic rights. So it is an abuse of a person’s citizenship to deny him or her the right to education.


Solutions To Illiteracy


1. Enabling Policy Environment

Effective policies require a commitment and the drive to put them into practice. Free education ought to be practical rather than political rhetoric. The pay for teachers needs to be increased and made on time. To increase teachers’ professional effectiveness, in-service training, seminars, workshops, and other capacity-building activities should be made available. It is important to pursue the UBE and its mission to end illiteracy with vigor and dedication.


2. Accessibility And proper Facilities

It’s important to empower families so that low-income parents can pay for their children’s education. To improve learning and instruction, the government should fund school buildings, desks, seats, and textbooks. Every youngster ought to have access to and a chance at receiving a formal education. As a deterrent, the law requiring compulsory schooling should be upheld and violators should be penalized.


3. Citizenship Education

Public efforts to engage citizens and inform them of the value of mass literacy should be launched by government and civil society organizations. These efforts aim to counteract harmful cultural and religious notions that support illiteracy.
Education should be promoted among the populace as the key to prosperity and the advancement of the country.

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4. Citizen Mobilization

This is a push to emphasize the value of education and need for all citizens, regardless of their age, sex, or access to employment possibilities.


5. Childcare prioritization

Adequate legislation should be put in place to ensure that children must attend school beginning at a set age for at least the years of basic education. All of the federation’s states should vote on and adopt the Child Rights Act. A child must receive an education, among other things, according to the Child Rights Act.


6. Formation of Almajeri Model Schools:

The Federal Government has established Almajeri model schools throughout the Northern states of the nation as part of real and sincere attempts to address the issue of illiteracy among Almajeri youngsters.
This unique education effort tries to stop this group of children’s culture of begging as a means of survival. In the Almajeri model school system, Western and Koranic education are combined. The goal is to take Almajeri youngsters off the streets and provide them with a well-rounded education. More similar schools are urged to be offered by the federal government. Also, Parents and clerics who encourage this act should be prosecuted by the law.

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