If literate means to be able to read and write, then it is possible to have a literate nation. To be literate means to be able to read and write well enough to do whatever a person wants to do in life. Without being able to write and read, a person may not be able to do his or her choice jobs, do some interesting activities that involves reading instructions from manuals, and may not be armed with enough information in today’s versatile world. A literate nation is a nation where the residents can read and write.
Though somoe developed countries like United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Russia, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden etc boast a high percentage of literacy levels in their nations, more can still be done to achieve a status of literate nation for this nations. Literacy must be effective. A situation where combined age of parents are twenty six to twenty eight in United Kingdom does not speak of high literacy level among the youths. They need sex education to be able to analyse the implications of giving birth at a tender age. In America, the use of cocaine which is life threatening is so rampant that one wonders the kind of literacy in this country. If the drug-users can be deviant to accepted standard in the society, it means they are illiterates.
According to Unicef, “Education is a fundamental human right: Every child is entitled to it. It is critical to our development as individuals and as societies, and it helps pave the way to a successful and productive future. When we ensure that children have access to a rights-based, quality education that is rooted in gender equality, we create a ripple effect of opportunity that impacts generations to come”. If all nations can see education as the liberator of their citizens and as the means of stopping ignorance, poverty and diseases, then it will be possible to have a literate nation. By seeing education as a right of every person in a society, it means being devoid of this right is a crime. Most nations still do not see education as a priority and we still have high incidents of under fifteens dropping out of school.
In third world countries, like Malawi, Rwanda and Banglaesh, most children do have the chance of attending schools at all. All they have to acquire education is only through the informal way of intuiton and learning from their peers. It has made poverty to be endemic and pandemonium. The literacy level in a country like Mali was 46.4% in 2003 and ranked 191 in the world. Nepal was 45.2%, ranked 192 and Bangladesh was 43.1% and ranked 193. This is a very far cry from what we need to set all nations to be literate in the present time. With globalism and modern transportation means, no country can be 100% literate when there are high numbers of illiterates in some third world countries.
Education enhances and elongates lives. It can end generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides a foundation for sustainable development among nations. Quality basic education up till at least the age of fifteen will better equip girls and boys with the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles, protect themselves from diseases like cancer and other sexually transmitted diseases, and take an active role in social, economic and political decision-making as they transition to adolescence and adulthood. Education will enhance chid-bearing among adults and people are more likely to have fewer children when they are literate, to be informed about appropriate child-rearing practices and to ensure that their children start school on time and are ready to learn.
A rights-based approach to education can make all nations to be literate. In addition, a rights-based approach to education can address some of societies’ deeply rooted inequalities like gender discrimination, age discrimination, class inequalities where children of the rich go to different schools from the poor etc. These inequalities condemn millions of children, particularly girls and the poor children, to a life without quality education and, therefore, to a life of missed opportunities.
Though, the world cannot have 100% literacy level because of the persons born with disabilities and the sick among us that may find it difficult to imbibe education. Also, the economic crunch which is making getting qualitative education difficult for children of the poor in the developed countries is a great challenge to these countries attaining the level of a literate nation. Effective education planned to ensure that no under-age drop out of school can ensure that it is possible to have a literate nation.