#ProjectLiteracy – the Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Alphabet of Illiteracy (1)

In the main, this week’s post are not my words. I have encountered a remarkable cartoon film (see bottom of the blog), which captures the essence of the world’s ills in 26 letters of the Alphabet. What’s even more remarkable, is that this short film also breaks through all those taboos which otherwise I might find difficult to talk to parents and children about, or indeed write down in a blog such as this.

It seems that 757 million people cannot read my blog, not because they do not have access to the internet, because they do (Over 4 billion people have access to mobile phones, rather more than double the number who have access to running water, would you believe?). Sadly, they can’t read my words, because they can’t read. I’ve borrowed the following paragraphs from the http://www.projectliteracy.com/ website.

“Project Literacy is a global movement convened by Pearson* to make significant and sustainable Screenshotprojectliteracyadvances in the fight against illiteracy so that all people – regardless of geography, language, race, class, or gender – have the opportunity to fulfill their potential through the power of words.  

Illiteracy is a global problem, stretching from the USA to Uganda, from Europe to Cambodia and everywhere in-between. It matters because these small tasks quickly become big problems. Illiterate people are more likely to be poor, they can’t get educated, can’t participate in political activities or help with economic development; and sadly their choices in life are far too limited.

Project Literacy brings together a diverse and global cross-section of people and organisations to help unlock the potential of individuals, families and communities everywhere with the power of words. Together, we will make significant and sustainable advances in literacy over the next five years so that by 2030, no child will be born at risk of poor literacy.

But we need your help, too, even if it’s just reading an article, sharing it with your friends and maybe making a pledge to get involvedIt’s up to you; it’s up to all of us, to help make illiteracy a thing of the past.”

Anyway, settle yourself down, put the volume up and enjoy a compelling 2 minutes watch. If you are not moved to react, to make a difference quickly, I’d be very surprised. If only by sharing the information onwards, as I am doing by ‘posting’ today, you can add to world peace.  Now click on the picture and take relearn your alphabet.


Let’s make no bones about it though – if we can increase the literacy levels of the world by 100 million people, that’s 20% only of those who can’t read, we’d would do more for world peace than all the armies of the world could ever do.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Pearson* – I am deeply indebted to Rod Bristow, President, Pearson Uk and his colleagues for introducing this initiative to ISA schools and other national organisations within Education this week.  Multinationals in a global world can easily acquire a tarnished reputation, but in creating an urgency around the need to raise base-line international literacy levels, I have no doubt Pearson’s intentions are entirely honourable. 

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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