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Sunday, 25th July 2010

UK: So why canít they read?

So why canít they read? (PDF)
Source: Centre for Policy Studies (UK)
From the Foreword:

It is perhaps the single most shattering indictment of our educational system that in London Ė the motor of the UK economy Ė there are a million adults who cannot read. That is to say, they lack the basic ability to look something up on the web or the Yellow Pages.

One in six working Londoners is functionally illiterate. That is before we have even considered the plight of the unemployed. We are talking about an epidemic of illiteracy, and a serious cause of economic underperformance. But it is worse than that.

Each individual case of illiteracy can be a personal disaster Ė a source of embarrassment, shame and low self-esteem. People who cannot read or write are excluded from so many of the pleasures and opportunities that are open to everyone else. It is no wonder that they are more likely to become disillusioned and alienated and to turn to crime.

We need urgently to chase down the causes of this slow-motion disaster, and all the evidence suggests that we have to go right back to primary school, and the 25 per cent who are leaving, at the age of 11, unable properly to read or write.


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