How To Overcome Illiteracy in Children and Adults

Illiteracy is a worldwide problem nowadays. It is everywhere, in both children and in adults. To overcome illiteracy in children and adults, we have to approach the problem on two levels - the macro-level and micro-level.

Let's start from the micro-level point of view. We should start from the basic unit of society - the home. Parents should be attentive to the learning needs of their children. It is not enough that our children go to school; we must support their educational development in every possible way. Some children are slow learners, but this is nothing to be worried. Given the proper attention, they WILL catch up.

Let us encourage our children to read, and if they don't like reading, then be creative. We can play-act the things that they read, or we can draw pictures of the characters in the books, so they can visualize what they're reading. Make reading a fun activity for the whole family.

Giving this kind of attention will also help us ascertain if their reading problem could be attributed to more serious conditions, like dyslexia. The key is to be patient and understanding with children. 

For adults, a similar approach should be undertaken. Family members who are illiterate must be given encouragement; they must not feel ashamed of their reading problem because of their age. Some adults might even try to hide their illiteracy from other people, so you have to be discerning as well. Once you're sure there's a problem, confront the concerned adult tactfully.

Take time to teach the adult how to read. You can make flash cards for him to read over and over again. You can encourage him to join programs that seek to combat literacy. The Internet is a rich source for such programs. Guide him through the process, and always be ready to make the necessary push, because he might start losing interest.

Looking at the macro-level, illiteracy in children and adults can be overcome by ensuring that everyone has access to free education, especially during the formative years. Teachers must make sure that their approach to teaching students how to read must be conducive to learning. To ensure this, the government should conduct free training for teachers. Teachers should also be well-compensated, so they will have an incentive to teach well. Reading programs, which aim to support what's being taught in school, should be established.

Free literacy programs should be made available to adults, and these programs should be flexible as to time, because these adults may be working at the same time. Laws that allow them to take some time off from work in order to attend literacy programs must be implemented. Companies should give their illiterate employees leeway in this matter.

Illiteracy should be a problem of the past, and can be if steps are seriously taken by the authorities and the ordinary laymen as well.


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