Adult Illiteracy and Its Effects On Family Life

It sounds hard to believe but unfortunately half of the adult population i.e. one in five adults, struggles to read and write. This issue of adult illiteracy is of concern especially.

Globally, 880 million adults have been found out to be illiterate, which is indeed a staggering number. It could be assumed that a greater number of these illiterate adults live in underdeveloped countries, but this assumption might not be right.

Many nations such as Brazil, Germany, Australia and France which are termed as the developed countries are also tackling illiteracy among adults in an attempt to help eradicate the problem.

Adults often try to go back to school to get a better paying job but one important and most overlooked socio-economic segment of the population are those who struggle to read and do basic math; they can’t read a street sign, a pay stop or a menu.

Every year thousands of these individuals overcome shame and fear and go back to school but are taken aback by the inadequate funding and long waiting lists which have made their struggles even harder.

Everything you do, you need to know how to read. The incapability to read and write makes life significantly harder for individuals but also has an adverse impact on society on a larger scale.

Effects of Illiteracy on an Individual And The Family:

The problems an individual suffers due to illiteracy include their limited ability to receive basic knowledge and information which eventually causes uproar of unemployment, lower quality jobs and lower incomes.

A person who is unable to read struggles to know their basic rights, to vote, to find work, payment of bills and managing the household correctly.

Adults with low literacy skills are relatively far more likely to live in poverty, be affected by severe health problems because they are unable to read prescription labels or instructions, and are isolated, have a lower self esteem and feel emotions of shame, fear and powerlessness in a world growing heavily dependent on computers and other upgraded technologies.

Being an illiterate parent you won’t be able to help your child with their basic academic issues, and won’t be able to provide them with a stable background.

It is studied that the poor capability of a child is majorly due to illiteracy of the parents. Being an illiterate parent you won’t be able to provide your child with the proper upbringing and would not be able to make certain decisions for them.

Adult Illiteracy Effects on The Society:

The complex of an illiterate adult spirals outward, impacting future generations and our society as little value is given to education and reading within the family, and this often leads to intergenerational transmission of illiteracy.

The higher the ratio of illiterate adults is, the slower the overall long-term GDP growth rate is due to lack of employment opportunities for such individuals and affects the society by lowering the level of community involvement and civic participation.

Low literacy rates have start ramifications for the future generations, our communities and the city at large. The children of illiterate parents are more likely to live in poverty as adults and are five times more likely to drop out of school.

Many children are left to experience a difficult childhood because of learning disabilities of their parents. Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowers reading levels themselves.

These children are more likely to get poor grades, express behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out.

However, low-literate parents who improve their own skills and are qualified to hold down a job with family-sustaining wages are more likely to have a positive impact on their children’s education.

Several children around the world attend school but do not learn to read, write or calculate. Many of these adults experienced similar frustration during childhood that they deliberately avoid literacy-related activities in later life.

When they have children of their own, they tend to communicate their negative feelings towards literacy and schooling to their children, and thus perpetuate an intergenerational cycle of illiteracy.

According to the Literacy Foundation, the most recurring causes of illiteracy in adults are having parents with little schooling, lack of books at home and lack of reading stimulation as a child, dropping out of school, difficult living conditions and learning disabilities.

How to Solve Adult Illiteracy Problem?

The focus on adult illiteracy has only recently come to the focus of the media and the local public. Although the definition and statistics are recent, adult illiteracy is not a new problem.

1. Educate Yourself:

Start be researching some of the online resources available to you and then share them on social media or anywhere else you think they will help.

2. Volunteer At Your Local Literacy Council:

Even some of the smallest communities are served by a country literacy council. Your local literacy council is available to help adults learn to read, do math or learn a new language, anything related to literacy.

They can also help children keep up with reading in school. Staff members are trained and reliable. Participate by becoming a volunteer or be explaining the services to someone you know who might benefit from them.

3. Ask For Reading Primers At Your Local Library:

Never underestimate the power of your local country library to help you accomplish just about anything. They will do their best to spread the joy of picking up a book.

They also know that people cannot be productive employees if they don’t know how to read. They’ve got resources available and can recommend special books to help you or your friend learn to read.

Books on beginning readers are sometimes called primers. Some are designed especially for adults to avoid the embarrassment of having to learn by reading children’s books. Learn about all of the resources available to you. The library is the best place to start.

4. Hire A Private Tutor:

It can be very embarrassing for an adult to accept that he or she cannot read or work simple calculations. If the thought of attending adult education classes freaks someone out, private tutors are always available.

Your literacy council or library is probably the best places to find a trained tutor who will respect the student’s privacy and anonymity. What a wonderful gift to give someone who won’t otherwise seek help.

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Alexa Opal Hamilton

Alexa Opal Hamilton is the author of three books and her genres range from dystopian Sci-fi to Romance. She is also a comedy writer who has written sitcom spec scripts, along with hilariously animated blogs and comic strips. Born and raised in west Texas, Alexa now travels all over North America (usually moving twice a year) with her hockey-player husband and two children. When she's not writing, Alexa enjoys reading, running and spending time with her family.

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