The Importance Of Literacy

Satisfactory Essays
Rita Mae Brown describes literacy as,

"a social contract, an agreed upon representation of certain symbols" (420). If

the symbol's (letters) meanings are not agreed upon by those attempting to

communicate, then interpreting one another becomes difficult. Simply stated,

literacy is very important. Society has proven time and time again, it will

reward those individuals who are competent and impede those who are not, whether

expressed in terms of employment opportunities (job success) or just on a social


One need look no further than their everyday activities in order to

realize how important literary skills are. Without adequate literary skills one

may not be able to identify on a label the correct amount of medicine to give a

child, or read and interpret a sign giving instructions on what to do in case of

a fire. These two examples bring perspective to literacy's importance.

Nevertheless, recent surveys have indicated that, "4.5 million Canadians,

representing 24 percent of the eighteen-and-over group, can be considered

illiterate" ("Adult Illiteracy" 5). Illiteracy is truly a problem within Canada.

Although many groups are working to render the problem of illiteracy, much work

still lies ahead.

As our society moves on into the next century literacy is proving vital

to economic performance. Without basic literary skills in one's possession they

will become lost in our rapidly changing society. The modern worker must be

able to adapt to the changing job-scene. This often means gathering new skills

and knowledge from printed material, whether instruction manuals, computer

programs, or classroom training (text books). It is quite commonly the case

that highly skilled jobs require a high level of literacy. Therefore, literary

skill level is an important factor in predicting an individual's economic

success. It will affect an individual's income, their employment stability and

whether they even receive employment opportunities.

Presently, our world revolves around literacy. Simply being literate

allows one to continuously upgrade one's literary skills to a higher level. It

allows one to stay informed of happenings in and around the world through

mediums such as newspapers and magazines. Knowing current news about what is

going on in this ever changing world of ours is the key to staying ahead.

Another thought to ponder is this, we rely on those with high literacy levels to

record and document findings and happenings for future generations to reflect on.

These writings would most likely be dull and inaccurate or would not exist at

all without our current levels of literacy.

When viewed from a social standpoint, literacy remains just as important

as when viewed from the economic standpoint. Linda Macleod of the National

Associations Active in Criminal Justice, points out that, "65 percent of people
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