Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a third world problem

Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a third world problem

Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a third world problem. However, the mathematical skills of American children have been found to be less competitive than many developing countries. Discuss.

Illiteracy is defined as the inability of read and write. Statistics show that developing countries have a higher illiteracy rate than the developed countries. Hence, illiteracy is viewed largely as a third world problem. For example, Niger and Afghanistan have the highest illiteracy rates in the world.

Also, it was published by “The Guardian” on January 29, 2014 that one in every four young people in developing countries is unable to read according to the research conducted by the United Nations.

Statistics also prove that American children have been found to be less competitive in subjects like maths than developing countries. But that does not make then eligible for the “illiteracy “ title.

Helen Warrell conducted a research on the same and he published on February 18, 2014 that “The children of cleaners in Asian cities such as Shanghai and Singapore are better at maths than the offspring of doctors and lawyers in the US and UK, according to an analysis of the global Pisa Test Rankings” There is a huge gap in the competency level of children in Maths in the America and India and other Asian countries.

Business groups have in fact started raising this concern about week mathematical skills in the US and UK. Lots of surveys have been conducted recently according to which three on every ten employers are dissatisfied with the numeracy skills of school and college pass outs in the UK and the US.

The various underlying reasons as found out through various researches are that the syllabus is very different in the West than in the East particularly for Maths. Moreover, arithmetic, time tables and long division starts very late in the Western countries. As a result, the foundations of the subject in Asian children are established much earlier and hence become much stronger than a child in America of the same age.

Hence, I feel that the syllabus in the West needs to undergo a revamp and it would be a wise decision to borrow the syllabus from East Asian models. Even the schools in the West can have some Indian and Asian Maths teachers as guest faculties who can help address this issue on project basis.
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  • RE: Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a third world problem -rishika jalan (04/14/14)
  • Illiteracy is a phenomenon where one is not able to read or write. This is majorly witnessed in developing countries of the world like Afghanistan and Nigeria. These two countries have said to have the highest rate of illiteracy. The causes behind this are many. Most important is the factor of poverty. Being poor and not having sufficient money to educate their children is one of the most important reasons behind illiteracy. Second is the lack of educational facilities. This also plays a major role. When the government themselves don’t take initiatives to motivate their citizens to attain education how can we expect them to be literate. Thirdly, nowadays, many teenagers are seen being more interested in making money from an early age. They don’t feel the need for education and start working in places which doesn't require reading or writing ability. All these causes add to the illiteracy levels in the third world countries. But astonishingly it has also been viewed that the students of America are less thorough with mathematics when compared to others. They don’t have a strong base in mathematics and are generally poor in that field. The main reason behind this is the difference in pattern of studies of the east and west; although this doesn't categorize Americans as illiterate.