Every year 8th September is celebrated as International Literacy Day. Its main focus is to improve world literacy rates and work on literacy challenges around the world. Literacy is one of the main components of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be attained by 2030. They aim to provide universal access to quality education and learning opportunities to everyone.
What is literacy?
Literacy is the ability to read and write. The literacy rate refers to the total percentage of the population of people of the age of seven years and above, who can read and write with understanding. These days children do get the opportunity to attend school. Various government policies help children attain schooling till 14 years of age. Thus, in the last census conducted in 2011, the literacy rate of India was 74%. Sadly, though, the literacy rate of Bihar at 63.8% is the least in India.
How are literacy and education different?
So, literacy is the ability to read, understand and write basic sentences. Whereas, education is a broader concept. It deals with the overall development of personality. Education helps in understanding new things. It makes a person curious to ask questions and to know more. It also means that a person can gain new information and use it in their daily life for their benefit.
Is literacy necessary for education?
We have all heard those quotes that say that an illiterate person can be educated. There are a lot of people who have attained knowledge through experience and apply their knowledge in the real-world. They know how the world works, they know how to deal with others, they know about empathy, but they might not know how to write their own name.
It can be said that literacy is not the sole form of education, but literacy is the road that leads us to education. In the age of digitalised knowledge, a person needs to know the basic reading and writing to use smartphones, laptops. We have knowledge on our fingertips, and we need to be literate to use it. Thus, in my opinion, we need both, literacy and education.
The goal should not be just to increase our literacy rate. A person can be literate but not responsible or compassionate. We need to educate our school children such that they become rational and responsible citizens. So, the policies should not just focus on literacy. The overall development is an absolute must.
We, at Patna Diaries, hope that you use your knowledge to help yourself and others. Be the responsible literate and educated person that can make the world a better place to live.