Why adult illiteracy is a societal problem
The consequences of illiteracy are harmful in various ways. It does not only affect the daily lives, but it also affects the society both socially and economically. For individuals, they have a limited ability to understand information, are unemployed, have low income, have reduced access to professional development, and are more prone to health problems. The society suffers from reduced qualified personnel to handle certain tasks that would provide solutions to the problems in the society. A high proportion of adults with low literacy proficiency translate to slowed overall long-term GDP growth. Illiteracy makes it difficult to understand the societal issues thereby lowering the level of community involvement and civic participation.
Illiteracy among adults enhances the current and future socioeconomic vulnerability. It is also a considerate factor in the generation of similar vulnerability to children. Illiterate persons face great challenges in regard to social inclusion at a personal level, the family, and at a societal level. Such persons also face serious employment issues due to their limited knowledge and expertise (Roman, 2004). The problem is attributed to a lack of formal schooling or an exit from school to enter the labor market. The illiterate persons are not aware of their rights and duties and are forced to accept the low-quality employment contracts that arise.
The impact of adult illiteracy falls under the major categories of health, education, economics, and social integration. Focusing on health, research highlights that illiteracy limits the ability of an individual to understand and absorb knowledge that is necessary for the due care. It affects their health, hygiene, and nutrition. In regard to education, the illiterate parents have low educational expectations for themselves and that of the children. There is a close relationship between parent's schooling and the academic performance of their children. Focusing on the economic perspective, literacy and schooling have a significant effect to individual income. Many people who do not complete their schooling period are less likely to acquire jobs that can help them to avoid poverty. For social integration factor, the illiterate persons lack social recognition and also suffer from low-self esteem.