International Literacy Day

Posted: September 8, 2010 in Education
Tags: ,

It’s International Literacy Day. First celebrated in 1966, it is meant to promote the importance of literacy to healthy societies. According to UNESCO, about one in five adults are still illiterate – and two thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out of school, although many more have irregular attendence or drop out. However, there are nearly four billion literate people.

So why does literacy matter? Well, I’m assuming that anyone reading this is literate, for obvious reasons. Have you ever thought about all the things you use that for, per day? Food packaging – allergy information, cooking instructions etc. The names of the bands and tracks on your music player. Shop names. Instructions on medicine. All your social networking online and by text. Receiving news. Health warnings. Etc.

Mind you, our brains are amazing. Try reading this;

Our bniars dno’t need to look at eervy sligne lteetr. Taht is how we laren to raed, but as we bomece queickr and bteter radeers, wtih begigr vobiluaraecs, we need to tnihk aobut it lses. Elatveluny, we rcaeh a pniot at wcihh we can raed paegs and pegas vrey qulciky, jsut trohugh wrod rocignieton. How do we do taht? Wlel… we apaper to be albe to raed atninyhg, wtih any slelipng, as lnog as the fsirt and lsat leretts are in pacle and it has the rgiht nebmur of lreetts.

Doing that exercise in psychology freaked me right out because I could actually do it. My friend, however, couldn’t get ‘bule’ as ‘blue’. However, I think it’s harder the longer the word.

So yes, celebrate your brain’s amazing abilities, and the literacy that your life has allowed you to gain. I would go away and read a good book, but I’m about to eat… I will later.

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