World Literacy Day A question of value-adding literacy | By Prof Parvez Jamil

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World Literacy Day A question of value-adding literacy


“Seldom pondered and realized that literacy is the root of character building. Difficult to believe real literacy teaches, nurtures and blossoms mutual patience, tolerance and fellow feeling towards mutual goodwill, cheers and happiness.” —PJ.

WORLD Literacy Day September is 08: “Literacy” understood as being able to read and write or to have knowledge about a specific subject.

How about, if possible, delving into literacy and unfolding its real revealing and rewarding part! Here educational literacy may be endeavored as the driving factor in all subjects. … Educational literacy is more than just being able to read, write and spell, it is about students being able to interpret, react, articulate, express thoughts and feelings.

Slowly and gradually, this goes far ahead and much beyond fundamental literacy skills like listening, speaking, reading, writing, sounds of language and print, relationship between letters and sounds, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension.

The secret of life fulfilment and livelihood excellence lies in capitalizing on the literacy base the fullest possible utilization of educational and professional promise and potential.

Role models in this regard are considered to be civilized and industrialized West: North America, Western Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, the economic super power and so on.

Literacies are either dormant, unutilized or underutilized due to what is considered exploitation or ignorance amid human agonies and sufferings, as for two examples, underdeveloped and least developed countries of Africa, “the dark continent” and Latin America, the lamenting lots; and just two examples even of the so-called developing countries like India and our very own Pakistan.

Our public and private sector literacy promotion endeavors would have real meaning towards social and economic betterment if it fosters and blends with brilliant craftsmen of our cottage industry and artisans of our sports goods and surgical instruments, our important foreign exchange earner! Whichever dictionary of the world and whoever the intelligentsia, the common notion is literacy is just the ability to read and write. But the wheels of life cannot move with just literacy.

We need value-adding skills for life and livelihood indeed. Important if somebody can simply read and write but vital if value-adding skills are acquired: arts, crafts, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, driving, cobblery, colouring, painting, decorating, stitching, sewing, cooking, catering and entertaining etc.

Associated to acquisition of skills and trades is what is known as dignity of labour. Working males and females, young and old, need to be linked to grace, dignity and honour. Respect is the pivot around which revolves their morale and output towards a welfare society.

Seldom pondered and realized that literacy is the root of character building. Difficult to believe real literacy teaches, nurtures and blossoms mutual patience, tolerance and fellow feeling leading to mutual goodwill, cheers and happiness.

It is with the same character and reputation that our workers win respect and earn laurels in the comity of nations, performing wonderfully well in foreign lands as highly value-adding foreign earners attributing Pakistan in letter and spirit.

—The writer contributes to media on national and international affairs.

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