Global Reading Challenge
The ability to read from an early age is the platform that enables life-long education. People without this critical skill are often socially and economically handicapped. The global literacy rate of 86 per cent means there are 774 million people in the world who cannot read or write. Illiteracy is one of the biggest social challenges of our time. Millions of children and young adults have low or no reading skills. UNESCO, in 2018, estimated that 258 million children are not literate. In developing nations, one in four children cannot read. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest literacy rates for children and adults.
India is home to the largest child population in the world and faces a huge reading and literacy crisis. Over the last decade, surveys conducted across government schools indicate a consistent and significant gap in the reading ability of students.
Surprisingly, the reading problem even plagues a number of developed countries. In America, 65 percent of fourth-graders read below or at the basic level. As per The Department of Education, United Kingdom, England faces similar problems with 1 in 5 children not being able to read by the age of 11.
In summary, the world faces a reading crisis. Traditional brick and mortar methods, though effective, touch too few and may be too late for too many. Technology touches our lives in myriad ways. To solve the reading problem, we must leverage the opportunities of speed and scale that come with the innovation technology can provide.