Passing Knowledge

This image shows a few lucky African children that have the opportunity to become educated adults.

This image shows a few lucky African children that have the opportunity to become educated adults.

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Did you know that 1 out of 3 children worldwide has never stepped foot inside a classroom? “The ability to read and write at a basic level would be considered as a fundamental human right, simply because it’s so important. With technology becoming increasingly significant and affordable around the world, literacy today is now more important than ever to be able to keep up with the rest of society” states the article “Literacy in Africa: some facts & figures.”

Africa has had some of the highest rates of illiteracy in the world with South Sudan leading the count. “The percentage of children that go to primary school is only 60% and after that most children drop-out to help their families. Hardly any kids go to secondary school and even fewer to high school due to poverty, starvation, diseases, or because they are already working long day jobs” states the article named “Causes of Illiteracy“.

The high illiteracy rates in Africa are not going unnoticed. In a survey of 50 AdVenture 7th graders, 42 replied that Africa has the highest illiteracy rates. “I think places with wars and/or refugee camps because many people don’t want to be near it, i.e. teachers” replied Hannah Muñoz, a student who responded to the survey.

Ms. Wilkinson, an AdVenture STEM teacher for 5th-8th grade said, “Yes, I think everyone should have access to education because I think everyone should be supported to one another with the path they choose.  I don’t exactly know but if I were to guess I would think 60% or 70% [of people] in Africa are educated.”

“It is important to have an education because it empowers people, presents a path for themselves, and is a primary component of freedom. Yes, I know many people that had education for a few years and this is because they stopped school to get a job for more money. Some people can’t get an education because they don’t have access to it, based on their gender, religion or even money.  Michelle Obama supports education for girls in Africa but she wouldn’t support the financial costs” Ms. Wilkinson said.

Makaylah Hebert, who is currently a 7th grader at Adventure STEM, says “I think everyone should have a future to education because everyone should have the privilege to learn anything. I don’t have a specific place in mind when answering the question as where the illiteracy is the highest but if I were to guess, I would say Africa because by the information I gathered throughout several years, my theory was Africa. Education plays an important part in our lives because if you don’t have education, you won’t have opportunities and you won’t be capable of something.”

“Yes, everyone should have access to education because it is a human right. I think the least amount of education is near war zones such as the middle east” and “Yeah, I believe people need education because if you aren’t educated, people won’t trust you and say if you were applying for a job people who are more educated than you have a higher chance of taking it” said Anneke Laurence another 7th grader from Adventure STEM.

Anneke isn’t wrong according to an article “Hiding in Plain Sight: The Adult Illiteracy Crisis” by Valerie Strauss, from the Washington Post, who writes that “Uneducated adults have lower income and lower quality jobs as well as reduced access to lifelong learning and professional development. In total, the unemployment rate is 2–4 times higher among those with little schooling than among those with Bachelor’s degrees”.

“Everyone should be able to get an education because it gives us an opportunity to succeed higher and it makes us capable of some things that others aren’t. I believe everybody needs to have access for education because without education I wouldn’t know many things I know now”, said Hannah Muñoz. Call Bain once stated, “70 out of 100 people in the world cannot read… if you can read then you are the luckiest out of 527 billion people in the world that cannot.”