May our children never go hungry

I do not think the young, intelligent and opened-minded Minister of Education will mind me delivering again a little, well-meant lecture to her. It concerns the need to make really heroic efforts to eliminate functional illiteracy from society as a matter of absolute priority.

It has been said time and time again and I will repeat it now. Societies to the extent that they are illiterate are voiceless, powerless and culturally oppressed. They are worse off in terms of life expectation, infant mortality, educational provision, nutrition, health services and income per capita. Industries are less developed and agriculture is less productive. Functional illiteracy linked to the spread of a completely unread under-class is one of the most troubling phenomena of our time. The repercussions are profoundly negative for public administration, the growth of business, the success of investment, technological progress, cultural development and the life and death battles against poverty and drugs and crime.

However, let us not only view illiteracy as a canker which eats at the heart and soul of any nation. Let us consider the effect of illiteracy on individual human beings. It is devastating. A basic mastery of the use of language is the most vital factor in succeeding in life and leading a reasonably fulfilled existence. Every single child must be told and taught this fact in …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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