Literacy education
The Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act helps promote global literacy education, which aids in protecting children from human traffickers, reducing the number of people who get indoctrinated by terrorist groups and decreasing the rate of violent crimes in an area.

The READ Act was ratified in the House of Representatives by mobilizing people to contact their congressional representatives, and is now one of the many laws The Borgen Project strives to get passed into law.

Literacy has been shown to reduce violent criminal behavior.

Literate people who have an education are much less likely to engage in violent and destructive behaviors than people who are illiterate. Media literacy is an important tool that can be used to prevent disenfranchised people from adopting violent ideological beliefs.

Statistics show that people who are even functionally literate (reading at the first-grade level) are less likely to turn to violence than people who do not know how to read. Thus, education is a powerful tool to end the cycle of violence.

Lack of access to schools hinders literacy education in impoverished areas.

Many people who live in impoverished countries cannot afford to send their children to school; this problem is magnified in counties that have more then one spoken language.

The odds that the language that the child speaks at home will differ from the language that is taught in the school system is very high, so these situations can lead to a child becoming literate in one language but unable to communicate with the people in his or her local village.

Literacy education can lead to improved productivity and quality of life.

Having a population of literate workers can increase long-term economic growth by over 3.5 percent and can increase the per capita income of the people who live in an improvised area by at least 6 percent. Another benefit of literacy is the ability to critically analyze medical advice to ensure that people understand the risks inherent in any medical procedure.

Uneducated children are at risk of radicalization.

Terror groups tend to recruit children who are not in school, and some terror groups offer to educate the children so that they can indoctrinate the children with violent ideological messages. The READ Act helps to ensure that children are able to have access to an education without getting a message from a terrorist group as part of their education.

Edward Everett summarizes the power of education with the quote: “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.” Providing literary education to impoverished areas is less costly, both on the financial level and in terms of human lives, than sending in soldiers to deal with terrorists.

The READ Act is just one of many policies that The Borgen Project has helped pass into law. Literacy is an important tool that can be used to improve the living conditions in impoverished areas, and the READ Act helps ensure that people who live in third-world countries have access to the benefits offered by literacy.

– Michael Israel

Photo: Flickr