Literacy, a prerequisite for eradicating poverty

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Children reading books through NABU.org. The App has features that allow easier access to books and tracking of children's learning levels./COURTESY

BY>> BERYL OYWER

Today, we celebrate the International Day for Eradication of Poverty under the theme ‘dignity for all in practice’.

According to the United Nations, the dignity of human beings is a fundamental right and should be given to all.

Even as Governments make a commitment to end poverty, there have been drastic inflation levels in countries that have come in the way.

The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that countries are yet to recover from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

The tough situations notwithstanding, all is not lost. There is still hope in making lives better for all.

One of the ways that countries can keep exploring is to enhance the literacy levels for all citizens.

Education is said to be a great equalizer and with time, situations are bound to change. Improving literacy levels should start right from the foundation phase, when a child is getting oriented into the world of learning.

Recently, organizations are introducing e-books to boost learning habits for learners.

The impact of e-books comes against the backdrop of statistics showing that millions of children across Africa are leaving school with poor reading skills and habits. In most instances, much of reading is presumably exam-driven and learners are said to put books aside as soon as exams are over.

Again, the question of access to reading books also arises as quite a good percentage of parents can barely afford to purchase so often.

But there is hope because various library initiatives have been launched across the country and it is upon parents to encourage their children to take advantage of books available around them.

This will have a positive impact on children, since they will not only be empowered to read books about their environment but also improve their ability to understand what they read in class.

Similarly, a majority of parents today own smart phones, which is yet another avenue offering an opportunity to change literacy habits.

Even as parents encourage children to read for academic development, they should also advocate for entertainment and just general knowledge.

They play a critical role in inculcating constant reading habits for their children, which if nurtured from an early age will grow.

Despite the heavy work and daily routine, there is a need for them to create some time just to help their children with reading and in return, they will little by little embrace the idea.

With reading apps like NABU, children are encouraged to read fun multilingual books, specifically tailored to meet a child’s reading ability.

Such books as those found in the NABU app are also meant to champion mother tongue stories, as part of building an inclusive, diverse, and community-centric global and local storytelling platform.

When children can read in their local language first, they grow in confidence, and literacy levels rise.

Parents are therefore urged to take a leading role in encouraging reading habits for their children since literacy promotes lifelong learning and builds skills that ultimately, will come in handy to address poverty.

Literacy is about having a powerful tool to eradicate poverty.

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