Education and literacy are often bundled together when, in fact, they are two separate entities. Literacy is the acquisition of reading and writing skills, whereas education is much more. It involves using learned literacy skills to interpret the world we live in. Real education begins when we turn that key.
“In honest hands, literacy is the surest way to true education. However, in dishonest hands, it is the deadliest; in fact, most suicidal.”
– Chief Obafemi Awolowo
The root cause
When a farmer sees an unhealthy tree, he does not look at the branches for a diagnosis. He looks at the root. To foster a better educational system, we need to look at the root cause: Literacy!
If literacy is the foundation of education, and Chief Obafemi Awolo is correct, isn’t it time we turn our efforts towards developing literacy? We need to all call on policymakers, communities, and all people to focus on literacy as a means of resuscitating our broken education system.
Today, curriculums are made by policymakers who have never taught in a class in their lives but teachers are the people who are experiencing the education challenges first-hand.
Teachers are overworked and underpaid, and no wonder so many decide to leave the teaching profession.
A quote comes to mind that appears on the principal’s door. “Doctors may boast, and lawyers may brag, but they were all taught by a teacher.”
While a lawyer can give an order to detain a child, a teacher can reach the heart of the child to speak to him to desist from such behavior. While a doctor can reach the heart of a child to perform surgery using different medical equipment, a teacher can touch the heart of the child and give the child a reason to live.
The World Literacy Foundation believes that all children should have access to education and is paving the way by making Literacy a core focus. For over 5 years, the organization has been working to enhance the education of children in remote communities in Africa by developing their literacy skills through their Sun Books initiative.
The Sun Books tablets include eBooks, videos, learning activities, games, and more to make learning fun. Also, teachers’ training is a crucial component to ensure the correct usage of the devices within the classrooms. Teachers are empowered to create digital literacy activities and write stories for Sun Books, so students can learn from local relevant content created by their teachers. To learn more about Sun Books, visit www.sunbooks.org