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Only in this age of mass media and literacy is that universally possible, and comprehensible.


How Does One Define Illiteracy?
Published August 04, 2008
Jose Nuno Gomes

"The official illiteracy definition is the inability to read or write any word in any language. It can also be defined as the inability to use proper grammar as with the"internet language"although defining that as illiteracy is a bit extreme.

Illiteracy is a problem that affects mainly the poor population, but often there are rich people who have all the means to be educated and can't even do the basic education due to lack of work because they think they have everything they need to succeed in life and don't need education. In contrast there are also poor people who work hard to have a decent education and start earning their own money.

The literacy may be very important in some styles of life but insignificant in others. In the modern world literacy is indispensable to almost any kind of job. The use of text to record information exists from the ancient Egyptian and Persian world and was very useful through the ages but only a few percentage of the world population was literate a few decades ago."

www.associatedcontent.com/




Illiteracy in the Workforce

"According to a United Nations survey of worldwide adult literacy, of the 158 participating nations, the United States ranks 49th. In 1992 the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics conducted a National Adult Literacy Survey to assess the depth and breadth of literacy problems in the United States. The survey suggested that 20 percent or more of U.S. adults possess no better than a fifth-grade reading capacity.

There is some general agreement on what constitutes functional illiteracy—reading and writing below the sixth grade level. In 1993, the Education Department determined that as many as 30 percent of unskilled and semiskilled industrial workers (approximately 14 million) were below even a fourth grade level of reading and writing. This would make it almost impossible to read required safety manuals, product labels, and even written warning signs. A commonly cited incident involved an apparently illiterate worker taking a cigarette break: unable to read the danger sign on the door of an empty room, the worker set off a lethal explosion after he entered the room and ignited his cigarette.

Since a high school level of literacy is usually necessary in order to read newspapers and magazines fluently, some experts insist that anyone who reads and writes below secondary school level is functionally illiterate. If one accepts this broad definition of functional illiteracy, then as many as 72 million adults are affected, making functional illiteracy a truly gargantuan problem in this country. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that the highest levels of functional illiteracy can be found among the young, specifically, in the 18- to 30-year-old age bracket.

The majority of this age group has already entered the workplace or hopes to become employed. Job applications have exposed the high level of illiteracy in the current adult population. Estimates by the National Institute for Literacy reckon that as much as 75 percent of the unemployed have literacy shortcomings. In the state of Nevada, it was estimated in 1994 that two out of three recently hired employees had at most an eighth-grade reading level. In 1990, Southwestern Bell received 15,000 job applications; of these applicants only 800 could pass the company's basic skills test."

www.referenceforbusiness.com/




UN world report documents widespread poverty, illiteracy and disease
By Margaret Rees
7 July 2000

"Statistics concerning child heath and nutrition are particularly shocking. The sub-Saharan infant mortality rate is 106 per 1,000 live births. Of the 130 million children born each year, about 30 million are born with impaired growth. About a third of children under five in developing countries are stunted by malnutrition, with the highest rates in East Africa and South Asia.

These figures are matched by those concerning education. About 90 million children worldwide are denied any schooling at even primary level, and 232 million have no access to minimal secondary education. In Eastern Europe and the CIS (countries of the former Soviet Union) school enrolments are lower than they were in 1989, and the prospect of illiteracy is re-emerging.

In India, even though primary education is provided, a survey of primary schools across four northern states in 1996 found that 60 percent of the schools had a leaking roof, 89 percent of them did not have a functioning toilet, and 59 percent have no drinking water.

The report notes that while 52 percent of the Indian population over the age of seven was literate in 1991, in some states the literacy amongst rural women was only 16 percent, and in Rajasthan for this group it was only 4 percent. Worldwide there are one billion illiterate adults.

Alongside the lack of education and widespread illiteracy, in developing countries there are 250 million child labourers—140 million boys and 110 million girls. There are 1.2 million women and girls under age 18 trafficked for prostitution each year."

www.wsws.org/




Population, Education and Development: The Concise Report
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Illiteracy

"Over the 30-year period between 1970 and 2000, estimated adult illiteracy rates (for ages 15 years or over) declined worldwide from 37 to 20 per cent, mostly owing to effects of increases in primary school enrolments. By 2015, adult illiteracy is projected to decrease further to 15 per cent (table 5). Even though there has been substantial progress in all regions, illiteracy remains common in much of the developing world. In 2000, about one fourth of the adults in the developing regions, and almost half in the least developed countries, were illiterate. The level was 45 per cent in South and West Asia and 40 per cent both in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Arab States and North Africa, but under 15 per cent in Eastern Asia and Oceania and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Despite the worldwide gains observed in literacy rates, the number of adult illiterates remains very high and almost constant because of the impact of population growth. In 1990, some 879 million adults in the world were illiterate; by the year 2000, their number is estimated to have declined only slightly, to 862 million. Among the developing regions, the number of illiterate adults increased between 1990 and 2000 in sub- Saharan Africa, in the Arab States and North Africa and in South and West Asia, and by 2000 these regions accounted for about 70 per cent of the world's adult illiterate population. Without major changes, these regions will hold 80 per cent of the world's illiterate population by 2015. In a predominantly literate society, there is intense social pressure for all to learn to read and write. Correspondingly, in a predominately illiterate society, there is likely to be less pressure for those who cannot read and write to achieve literacy. In 1990, 28 countries for which data are available had literacy rates of less than 50 per cent. In 2000, 21 countries still remained below the 50 per cent threshold (13 in sub-Saharan Africa, 4 in the Arab States and North Africa, 3 in South and West Asia, and 1 in the Caribbean). It is projected that six countries from these regions may remain below 50 per cent literacy by 2015, unless major efforts are made to universalize basic education among children and youth and to spread literacy among adults. By 2015, all of the countries in East Asia and the Pacific, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, except Haiti, are projected to have at least 70 per cent literacy."

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs




Muslim Illiteracy

"Muslim illiteracy worldwide stands at about 51 percent for all age groups over fifteen. Despite a rapid increase in primary school enrollment, only 45 percent of Muslim children aged six to eleven attend primary school. An even larger gap exists at higher levels of research."

Martin S. Kramer, Arab awakening and Islamic revival, 1996, page 280;


"The vast majority of Muslims do not speak Arabic as their native tongue"

Christine Huda Dodge, The everything understanding Islam, 2003, page 21;


"The degree of knowledge of Arabic determines a person's understanding of the Islamic creed. The Quran, the Hadith and Sira traditions (Prophetic sayings and actions), and the writings of the early Islamic scholars and jurists were in Arabic. Imam Shafei (767- 820), the founder of the Shafei School of Sunni jurisprudence, advocated that every Muslim should learn Arabic, at least to the point of reciting the Quran (Hourani 1991, 68). Most non-Arab Muslims do not understand Arabic."

Elie Elhadj, The Islamic Shield, 2006, page 22;


"If your mother tongue is not Arabic, Satan (or his troops) will encourage you to read the Quran in Arabic. Why does he do that? Because he knows that you will not understand enough of it. The majority of those who learn Arabic to study the Quran do not excel enough to understand the implication or interpretation of certain words when used in a special way in the Arabic language. They will have a lot of shortcomings. Many Pakistani and Indian Muslims are forced as children to read the Quran in Arabic and still as adults read the Quran in Arabic but they do not understand a single word of what they read... The Quran is a message, not just another beautiful language book. If you cannot read it in Arabic do not wait until the day you excel in your Arabic language, because this day may never come. Trust God and know that He is the teacher of the Quran. He will teach in any language and to any nationality, He created all things. Read your Quran today, (do not wait any longer,) in any language that you can understand and master and leave the rest to God."

Dr. Rashad Khalifa, Ph.d.



THE KORAN

"... the intricacies of the Arab language, one of the most difficult in the world, can lead to gross interpretations as to the meaning of a word or phrase. Muhammad belonged to the Quraysh clan, whose dialect differed considerably from that of the other nomadic tribesmen of the area. According to Muslims, for the most part the Koran is written in Classical Arabic, the style of language born out of the Quraysh dialect. This, in itself, seems to be erroneous, since most scholars agree that Classical Arabic did not become standardized until between the 8th and 9th centuries. Unfortunately for Arabic speaking Muslims, only a limited number can understand spoken Classical Arabic, and even fewer can read it! Colloquial dialects are spoken in all Arabic speaking countries, and the divergence between these dialects can be considerable. However, Muslim law dictates that the Koran must always be read in Arabic, which is basically Classical Arabic. The result is that the imam, or religious head of a mosque, well knows that most of his congregation will not understand what is read, even if he himself can read Classical Arabic. The result is that an imam leads his congregation in rote memory recitals, in Arabic, of prayers and innocuous passages from the Koran, followed by a homily in the local language. The expression of:"The blind leading the blind"comes to mind!

Another difficulty for Muslims to understand their religion is that most Muslims do not speak Arabic. They reside in non-Arabic speaking countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, the Philippines, and the Muslim countries previously a part of the Soviet Union. And, since they are prohibited from reading the Koran except in Arabic, they remain in abject ignorance of their own religion."

http://allaboutmuhammad.com/the-koran.html (Web January 25, 2012)


God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments
"In 14:26, Jesus says,"But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of all that I myself spoke to you."(14:26). The teaching ministry of the Paraclete is presented as superior to that of Jesus because the Paraclete will teach them"all things"and will remind them of"everything"that Jesus said (14:26). The Paraclete's ministry is set clearly in the future. Jesus again identifies this"Paraclete"with the Holy Spirit, whom the disciples would know from the Old Testament (Ps. 51:11; Is. 63:10,11):"But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send in My name"(14:26). This sending will fulfill Old Testament promises as well as Jesus' request (14:16). The sending of the Paraclete in Jesus' name not only links the sending to Jesus' request but also supports the claim that the Paraclete comes to continue Jesus' ministry.

The Paraclete's ministry to the disciples both goes beyond and is limited by Jesus' ministry. On the one hand, the Paraclete would teach the disciples"all things"(14:26), and so the disciples would know more from the Paraclete's teaching than they knew from Jesus' teaching (see 1 John 2:27)... The Spirit's teaching went beyond what Jesus taught only in that it deepened their understanding of what He said.

Jesus' statements in John 14:25-26 are closely paralleled by those in 16:12-15... What may be implicit in John 14:25-26, that Jesus had limited what He told the disciples because of their inability to understand, is made explicit in 16:12. They had trouble understanding what He did tell them, and now the reason for that is made plain: their abilities are limited."

James M. Hamilton, Jr., God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments
B&H Academic (August 1, 2006), pp. 79-82


"... the intricacies of the Arab language, one of the most difficult in the world, can lead to gross interpretations as to the meaning of a word or phrase. Muhammad belonged to the Quraysh clan, whose dialect differed considerably from that of the other nomadic tribesmen of the area. According to Muslims, for the most part the Koran is written in Classical Arabic, the style of language born out of the Quraysh dialect. This, in itself, seems to be erroneous, since most scholars agree that Classical Arabic did not become standardized until between the 8th and 9th centuries. Unfortunately for Arabic speaking Muslims, only a limited number can understand spoken Classical Arabic, and even fewer can read it! Colloquial dialects are spoken in all Arabic speaking countries, and the divergence between these dialects can be considerable. However, Muslim law dictates that the Koran must always be read in Arabic, which is basically Classical Arabic. The result is that the imam, or religious head of a mosque, well knows that most of his congregation will not understand what is read, even if he himself can read Classical Arabic. The result is that an imam leads his congregation in rote memory recitals, in Arabic, of prayers and innocuous passages from the Koran, followed by a homily in the local language. The expression of:"The blind leading the blind"comes to mind!

Another difficulty for Muslims to understand their religion is that most Muslims do not speak Arabic. They reside in non-Arabic speaking countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, the Philippines, and the Muslim countries previously a part of the Soviet Union. And, since they are prohibited from reading the Koran except in Arabic, they remain in abject ignorance of their own religion."

www.allaboutmuhammad.com/the-koran.html (Web 13 February 2012)



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