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donderdag, maart 16, 2023

Illiteracy is a big problem

Have you ever wondered why in the USA, when a documentary or interview is shown on TV, there are no subtitles but there's a voice-over? The answer to that question is rather unsettling: in this supposedly 'developed' country 1 in 5 adults can barely read. It really looks like Idiocracy is not a movie but a documentary:

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To make it easier for Americans to read, words containing more than two syllables have been cut up. For example: a cell phone is one single object and thus in many languages it's simply one single word. But in the USA it's two. Same goes for 'health care' and 'high school', 'living room', 'race car', et cetera. 

People should learn how to read at an early age. That's where school comes in. So why don't teachers in the USA teach children how to read properly? When you start reading about it, it's often blamed on a lack of means. Really, they don't have books? Even comic books? I don't buy that. They don't have the time to read? There are 24 hours in a day, even in the USA. Don't the parents help develop basic reading skills? Therein might lie a part of the problem: if parents themselves can't read, how could they teach their children?

The USA is more and more reliant on professionals from other countries to come and take high skilled jobs. That Americans can't do, partially because they are not capable of reading a manual. Or even a newspaper for that matter.

Not being able to read is directly related to crime and poverty. It's a problem. One that needs to be addressed and not left to the good intentions of volunteers but by governments. Not only in the USA of course but everywhere.