The Causes of Illiteracy

Jihan Ananda

A participant of Creative Writing Course, English Education Department, Universitas Kuningan

In 2017, 2,07% or 34 millions  of Indonesian people are illiterate according to the Indonesian Ministry of Education. The government seriously concerns about Indonesian Illiteracy level, by establishing 8 September  as ‘Nation Literacy Day.’  We should make Indonesia 100% literate nation. Illiteracy is a big problem, it is not about lack of writing but also they get very little information from their surroundings.

Indonesia is a big country, but the economic level of Indonesia is still low. World Bank (2017) proves that Indonesian economic level is only 5,06%, lower than Vietnam which has 7,46% and Philippines 6,9%. Poverty is one of reasons why illiteracy is still happening in Indonesia. Poverty creates the ‘survival mindset’ of society.

Survival mindset is the condition wherever you are, you are going to live and whenever you are hungry, you should be able to eat. They think how to get house and food as soon as easy as they can. That’s why they need to work harder only to survive, they don’t even think that reading and writing as a need.

When you were a child, have your parents read you a story book? Reading a book story to your children is very good to increase the children’s reading interest. In Europe, this is as a culture and obligation for parents to read their little children a story book. The problem in Indonesia, reading stimulation is still lack. If the parents can’t stimulate the reading interest of their children, I am pretty sure the children will be lazy to read. Let’s grow the reading interest of our children.

Another reason is the accessibility of book. Let’s see the remote area of Indonesia. There are no many libraries there. If it is available, I am sure the condition of that library is not really good. That’s why accessibility needs attention to decrease the illiteracy of the nation.

Poverty, reading interest and accessibility are important things to that can’t be separated. If the poverty level is high, reading interest will not be high, automatically the accessibility will not be exist and illiteracy will grow fast. How to solve these? Surely it needs all parties to take action. It can start from parents to grow their children’s reading interest. Then the government to increase the country’s economic level, also build the libraries across Indonesia and access to get out of illiteracy. ***


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