Literacy in today’s world

What is literacy?

  • Jan. 27, 2011 1:00 p.m.

What is literacy?

Conventionally, literacy has been defined as the ability to read, write and deal with simple mathematics.

In today’s world, literacy takes on a different aspect.

Statistics tell us that about 48 per cent of our area’s population does not have the necessary skills to cope in the modern world. This is a shocking figure, so perhaps we need to look at today’s definition of literacy.

Are you able to read text quickly, efficiently, deriving meaning as you read? When you sign something do you always read the document before signing?

Does the print-out the druggist gives you make perfect sense?

These are typical requirements in today’s society.

Computer literacy is needed for full participation in today’s society. On-line shopping, information gathering, communications, and on-line learning are all part of day-to-day interaction.

How long since you took a course? Studied something new? Mastered a new skill? Participated in a community undertaking?

Scientists tell us that ongoing learning is a strong factor in retaining mental capacity throughout the advancing years. Equally important are the oral communication skills.

The ability to work co-operatively with others, continuous learning, problem solving, decision making, and divergent thinking are some of the keys to maintaining mental agility.

The following are listed as the essential components of today’s literacy: reading text, use of documents, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, computer use, thinking skills, including problem solving and decision making, planning and organizing job tasks, developing memory and information gathering.