“ILLITERACY SWEEPS OUR CITIES”

Education is said to be the well spring of wealth and happiness. However the shocking statistics assembled by the Evening Standard present a challenge not only to schools but for society as a whole.

Recent report shows that our nation especially London is in a literacy crisis as one million people in London cannot read. Statistics provided by the London Evening Standard shows that 1 in 4 children in London leaves primary school at age 11 unable to read or write properly. 1 in 5 leaves secondary school without being able to read with confidence whilst 16 percent of 16 to 65 years old have the reading ability of an 11 year old.

David Cohen from the Evening Standard said:  “Children are most often glued to the television, houses are full of the latest game consoles but there are no books. More so, statistics also show that 1 in 3 children say he or she does not own a book however 85 percent of children ages 8 to 15 own a game console. Homes without any books; not even a magazine is described as scandalous. Without books, children have a much greater chance of spending a life time being unable to read. When a teacher asked his pupils to bring a book from home, one nine year old brought an Argos catalogue saying “It’s the only one we’ve got.”

Children whose first language are not English and also have parents who cannot speak English are seen as being at a disadvantage. The reason being, parents struggle to find the opportunity to read with the children. Nonetheless, Sir Michael Wilshaw of Mossbourne community Academy in Hackney States: “That immigration is often used as an excuse for low literacy. There is work to be done as there is a rise in the Argos catalogue family. 72,000 British children arriving in high school every year are unable to read to the expected level. However, schools that strive to go beyond the national curriculum are said to have a better achievement.”

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