Wednesday, 23 April 2014

UN in your language

Literacy

A tale of two worlds

Literacy Class in NigeriaSo closely are illiteracy and poverty linked in the mind of westerners that recently the British School Minister, Mr. Nick Gibb, proclaimed that when it came to reading, despite two centuries of technological and social revolution in the United Kingdom, there were "still shadows of Charles Dickens' world in our own” and “literacy problems were still “heavily orientated towards the poorest.”

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High-level group issues 'wake-up call' to address literacy crisis in Europe

HRH Laurentien, Princess of the Netherlands and Commissioner Androulla VassiliouThe European Union needs to overhaul its approach to improving literacy standards, according to a high-level group of experts set up by European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou to address the issue. One in five 15 year olds, as well as nearly 75 million adults, lack basic reading and writing skills, which makes it hard for them to get a job and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion. The expert group's chair, HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, a long-time campaigner in the field, describes the report as a "wake-up call about the crisis that affects every country in Europe".

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EU: 75 million adults lack basic reading skills

Princess-Laurentien webOne in five European fifteen year olds has poor reading skills and 75 million Europeans have low qualifications, often lacking basic reading and writing skills. These striking facts prompted the European Commission to establish the High Level Group of Experts on Literacy. The group launched its report in the run up to 8 September, UNESCO´s International Literacy Day.

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Learning to read and write caused a radical change in my life

Fabrice RamseyFabrice Ramsey went to school like any normal child in Belgium. However, due to a combination of factors he was not learning. When he finally completed his education he was 22 years old and became a carpenter who could not read or write properly. Fabrice’s story represents one of the most common cases of illiteracy in Belgium.

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Why the World Needs More Alpha Females

Liberian womenThe value of words is beyond the sum of their parts: they provide humans with the ability to care and to comfort, to hate and hurt. Each word also has the inbuilt capacity to act as an agent of development and human empowerment, easily unleashed by the world’s literate population. For nearly 800 million people, however, the task is not as easy.

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The Evolving Definition of Literacy

Education IndiaThe meaning of the term ‘literacy’ appears to live something of a dichotomous existence. While superficially it is a word widely understood and used by the public, ‘literacy’ lives a double life as the subject of intense academic debate that aims to attach a concrete definition to what is a complex, dynamic and often mercurial concept.

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Digital literacy: the tree that hides the forest

KeyboardSince the advent of the internet and the rapid evolution of technology, times have changed as have our notions of literacy. The United Nations plays a key role in bridging the digital divide, both among, and within, countries. Given the role ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) plays in our every day lives, be it private or professional, a key solution to bridging the digital divide is making sure that every citizen is part of this digital age, i. e. digitally literate.

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