By B.L. Ochman
Tools ranging from video to virtual reality explain the need for Project Literacy, a new multi-media global movement to fight illiteracy.
The largely invisible issue affects over 757 million people worldwide and there is a direct link between literacy and other global development issues, such as poverty, hunger and unemployment, gender inequality and access to basic civil rights.
Experience Illiteracy in Virtual Reality
The Project Literacy website also lets you experience the stories of illiterate people via Virtual Reality. So put on a mask and experience a frozen moment in the life of someone living with illiteracy.
Facts About Illiteracy
The ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy” illustrates the a new body of evidence suggesting illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces, from A-Z.
Illiteracy is a truly global problem. According to Project Literacy:
* No country has ever achieved continued economic growth without having first achieved an adult literacy rate above 40%.
* Illiteracy costs the world $1.19 trillion a year. It costs a developed nation 2% of its GDP each year and an emerging economy 1.2% of GDP.
* 32 million adults in the United States can’t read. And one in four children grow up without learning how to read.
* More than 70% of inmates in American prisons cannot read above fourth grade level (typically 9-10 years old).
* 1 in 5 UK children leave primary school unable to read or write.
* In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of illiterate adults has increased by 37% since 1990.
* In India, 287 million people do not have basic reading skills.
Convened by UK educational publisher Pearson and baked by more than 40 charities and educational organizations, among Project Literacy’s goals is gathering one million signatures on a petition by International Literacy Day on September 8, when they will present it to the United Nations. The petition asks the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.