Literally literacy

On the 8th September UNESCO celebrates International Literacy Day. With the recent news that the proportion of pupils attaining at least a Grade C in GSCE fell this year, and with the proportion of girls achieving the grade increasingly higher than boys (73.1% of girls achieved at least a grade C, compared with 64.3% of boys) it is interesting to look at UNESCO’s international statistics to see the bigger picture.

A look at an infographic published last year to support the same event tells a tale of inequality linked not only to geography but increasingly also to gender.

  • There are 774 million illiterate adults in the world – two thirds of these are women
  • Whilst the proportion of young people who can’t read or write is getting smaller, the proportion of young women isn’t
  • Some parts of the world have seen a steady rise in literacy rates in the last 25 years, whereas some areas, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, have remained stubbornly static

The results of illiteracy? Social and economic marginalisation, unfulfilled potential and the insecurity that comes from being less able to contribute to the welfare of family and the local community. Compelling reasons to support the day and perhaps some of the events being organised across the country:

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