Illiteracy is a Curse
‘Illiteracy is a curse’ goes the old saying. It destroys the creativity of a man and hampers free-thinking. Education is the first stage of development. Bangladesh has a large population. Only about one-fourth of our people can read and write. The rest of our people are illiterate. The literacy rate among the poor is very low. It gives rise to many other problems in our social and national life. It is very sad. So, illiteracy at a greater scale impedes national development.
Education is the backbone of a nation. No nation can make any progress without it. But in our country illiteracy exists on a mass scale. As a result, we cannot stand. Now the question of mass literacy arises. Mass literacy does not mean imparting higher education to all. It aims at attaining the ability to read and write in a short period of time. If our people can attain the ability to read and write, the nation will see the light of hope. As a result, superstition, population explosion, poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, and terrorism are also rising at an alarming rate.
A Wise man of all ages has written books. The books have been adorned with their ideas, knowledge, and experiences. Newspapers, periodicals, magazines, etc. are full of information. Modern methods of cultivating and necessary instructions have been written in books. Doctors prescribe medicine and give instructions in writing. Records of all kinds and accounts are maintained in books. Documents of all kinds are written. Secret information and news sent through letters. The man who cannot read-write is deprived of all the facilities of an educator. He remains ignorant. Ignorance is like darkness. We cannot do anything important in the darkness.
We have clearly realized that illiteracy is a curse. The causes of illiteracy are so many. Poverty is considered to be the root cause. The majority of our people live below the poverty line. We must get rid of the curse of illiteracy. Proper importance has been given to adult education. It is true that all the illiterate grown-up persons cannot be brought under the program at a time. It is also true that only a few grown-up illiterate persons in the project area have responded to the call. Illiterate women do not come forward. It is due to their ignorance and poverty. The adult education program will be crowned with success if our illiterate adults want to get rid of the curse. The other side of the picture is not satisfactory. Lack of social awareness is another cause of illiteracy. Many people do not feel the consequences of being illiterate.
It is really hopeful that our government has taken some steps to free the nation from the curse of illiteracy. Encouraging responses should come from our illiterate persons to remove illiteracy from Bangladesh. Primary education had been made free and compulsory for all. Some bright examples including the cases of Turkey, Russia, and China should be brought before them. Our people should be motivated and encouraged by the local leaders and competent authorities so that they forward to make the program a success. Above all, social awareness must arise print and electric media can play a vital role in this regard.