Raising the Bar

“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” – Abagail Adams

Despite the enormous disparities in the world today, can you visualize a converging world in which every country is equal in wealth, health and literacy?

In today’s technologically-based global economy, developing literacy skills is regarded as a key strategy for promoting national economic growth.  Literacy is linked to economic success as literacy levels help determine the kind of jobs people find, the salaries they make and their ability to upgrade their work skills.

Fiedrich & Jellene (2003) state that a substantial body of evidence indicates that literacy increases the productivity and earning potential of a population. An educated person earns more and has greater labour mobility. While analysing the impact of literacy UNESCO (2005) observes that literacy not only enhances the individuals earning, it also has positive influence upon the economic growth of a country.

If Canada raises its national literacy score by one percent, the country’s national income will increase by $32 billion, said Craig Alexander, a chief economist and vice-president of TD Bank Group. Presenting some sobering statistics, he said the International Adult Literacy Survey found 40% of youth and 50% of adults in Canada don’t have the desired amount of literacy to succeed in a knowledge-based economy.

Around the world, renewed emphasis is being placed by governments and employers on literacy for all people to enhance their employability, level of remuneration, health and community participation.

Statistician Hans Rosling uses animated statistics to help us visualize how far we have come over the past 200 years and that it is possible, in our lifetime, to experience a converging world in which every country is equal in wealth, health and literacy.

Do you think that literacy is the key to health, wealth, peace and economic growth?