Sample Essay on Illiteracy

Functional illiteracy commonly means the inability of a person to read, write, speak, and use computers in everyday life. When confronted with these issues, individuals without basic literacy skills cannot function effectively. This problem is all too common in the United States. Dealing with illiteracy demands large amounts of resources from city, state, and federal government. This causes taxpayers to use more of their hard-earned money to help alleviate this problem.

When students learn to read, they learn to associate a sound with the letter or letters that represent that sound. If this is not taught to school children properly, they’ll never know that letters are used to represent sounds; therefore, they will not be able to read or write effectively.

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Illiteracy, as a major problem in the United States, is not entirely the responsibility of the teachers or facilitators who are instructing. Many students are at fault themselves for not fully learning to read. The U.S. Department of Education statistics show that the high school dropout rate is 29% in this country, which is significantly higher than many other countries, for example, Russia and Japan. Many students give up trying to learn or believe that school is unimportant. Sometimes, dropping out of school may be a learned trait from their parents. Illiteracy is an inter-generational problem, following a parents/child pattern. Poor school achievement and dropping out before completing school are commonplace among children of illiterate parents. Because they are unable to help their children learn, parents who cannot read are often perpetuated as the inter-generational cycle of illiteracy.
Without books, newspapers or magazines in the home, many children grow up with severe literacy deficiencies. Thousands of children grow up each day in homes where education, hope, and ambition are as scarce as money. As these children grow up and become disinterested in school, they may drop-out or start a low or no-skill job. Some of those who cannot find jobs turn to drugs or petty crime, which can eventually result in major crime. Some of these children do not have the opportunities, but they do have the ambition and motivation. If they make it through high school, they might not have the money to pay for college or be able to support the needs at home. As these children grow up, they become a part of the social-economic ladder that determines their status in society.

Illiteracy can be blamed on the education system located in areas where the system is inadequately preparing the youth for the world of work. Today, a good basic education is essential for even minimum success in any field of work. For a compulsory education system to be successful, there must be a sustained, dedicated, and well-financed program of mass education. There are many ways to improve the educational values of today. It could be as simple as working with children more closely and personally.

Children are often going from one grade to the next by simply guessing in quizzes, tests, and problem-solving. Oftentimes, teachers are compassionate and allow the child to go onto the next grade or even through graduation. A solution to this problem would be to work one on one with the students or set up a new style of exams to test prerequisites to go to another grade. This will cost America a lot of money but it will be well worth it. For a student to advance to the next level, he or she should have to sit down with a teacher for an assessment. The student should be presented with a paragraph that he or she would need to read. If the student is able to read and comprehend it, they may pass. If not, they would need rehabilitation or need to repeat the grade. This would be an improvement to the American school system.

Too many people are functionally illiterate these days. A new emphasis on learning is due. Students in the American school systems ought to be presented with a new method to determine his or her eligibility to move to another grade.

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