Question: What are the causes of illiteracy? How illiteracy hampers social development? Write at least three suggestions about how illiteracy may be overcome. (150 words)
Answer: The causes of illiteracy are too many to be described. Most of the people of Bangladesh are illiterate. They do not realize the importance of education. They do not know that illiteracy is a curse. It is similar to darkness. Illiteracy baffles all the development programs of the country. Again most of the parents of most of the children are very poor. They live beyond the poverty line. They can hardly keep body and soul together. They can not manage two square meals a day let alone send their children to school. They can not buy books, pens, etc. for their children. They are not in a position to bear the educational expenses of their children. Though most children go to school in their childhood, they can not continue their studies because of all-consuming poverty. Like their parents, they do not realize the importance of education which is the most valuable asset in life to lead a healthy, happy, prosperous, and progressive life. When they grow up, their parents do not send them to school. They think that sending their children to school is a sheer waste of time. They think that they are fit to do any work which will help them to earn some money to add to their family income. Some other factors make most children leave school early. It is the root cause of ignorance which frustrates all development efforts of the government and the community. No development efforts can succeed unless illiteracy is eradicated. Eradication of illiteracy in a country like Bangladesh with so vast a population is undoubtedly a gigantic task. No individual, community, or organization, not even the government is capable of solving this huge problem single-handedly. It is the social responsibility of all literate people. men and women, to make some concerted efforts to remove illiteracy from society. The Government of Bangladesh has already undertaken some important programs in this regard. To provide primary education for at least 70 percent of the children of six to ten years of age by the end of 1990. the Government has launched a program called the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Project. The objectives are to increase enrolment, especially of girls, reduce dropouts and retain them at school till the completion of their primary education. There is another educational program in which each primary school in a community is to be regarded as a Community Learning Centre (CLC). The mass media, especially radio, TV, and newspapers can play a vital role in making people more conscious of the importance of literacy in the life of a nation. They can broadcast and publish regular features on various aspects of basic education, adult education, and mass literacy.