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  • literacy

    In celebration of International Literacy Day 2011 (September 8th), I have written a series of blogs to raise awareness of the event. There are huge inadequacies across the world in terms of literacy levels. We are fortunate in the UK to be at the favourable end of the league table. This blog will attempt to outline the importance of literacy over numeracy and vice versa.

    The Literacy Argument

    Literacy features in the vast majority of day to day activities, from reading the newspaper to holding a conversation with a friend. It is almost impossible to lead a normal life without being literate.

    The ability to express one's self through words and symbols has been considered by many as the purest form of art. From cavemen etching stories on the walls to the modern day novelist expressing their deepest emotions onto electronic devices.

    Put simply, literacy opens doors. A poorly worded CV is as likely to get a person employed as a mute performance in an interview. On the contrary, a well written letter or blog will encourage conversation and respect. That's the beauty of written and spoken English. It oozes seniority & commands respect, providing it is applied correctly.

    The Numeracy Argument

    I think most will agree that the world revolves around money. The amount of wealth a person possesses correlates positively with an individual's quality of life.

    It would be all to obvious to point out that money is counted in numbers, but to put it bluntly, it is. From childhood concerns, do I have enough money to buy all of those sweets? Into adulthood, can I afford the mortgage repayments on that house?

    It is without doubt that the UK, along with the remainder of the EU & United States are in a fairly poor state economically. Repossessions, debt & disillusionment with our leaders has ensued, but could this have been avoided if people were more number savvy?

    In Conclusion, Numeracy Wins

    Being literate is a gift, for sure. However, numeracy is vastly overlooked, simply because it's not every day that we are faced with Pythagoras' Theorum. The ability to figure out whether a particular mortgage is sustainable or whether you should upgrade your car to the latest model revolves around the skill of being numerate and will have a direct effect on your quality of life.

    Do you agree?  Or do you think the world would be a better place without numbers?

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