The contemporary world has changed the minds of the people and it has motivated the modern minds to revisit their list of preferences; it has urged to redefine matter, material and wealth. The world that God had created was a much different world from today’s world. Then Darwin’s theory of evolution and the theories of survival of the fittest looked childish and result of extreme of depression and pessimism. Darwin thus caused a severe clash between religion and science but in the modern times, man has manipulated the world and has turned it into a pressure cooker. We are living in a world where all such notions like survival of the fittest, laissez faire, economic theories of J.S Mill and Jeremy Bentham seem achieving maturity. People are starving to death; poverty is being eliminated and alleviated by annihilating the poor.

In such an age, the costliest currency and precious commodity of the world is education or literacy and in such an age, being illiterate is tantamount to be ready to give up and surrender and to be ready to be expelled from the race of progress. That’s why, throughout the world, education has become the area, leading the list of the priorities. Developing and developed nations of the world are spending a handsome percent of their budget on education, which has resulted into awesome consequences. When look over the global statistics of education, we come to know that among the South Asian countries, Maldives is leading the race of literacy with 100% literacy rate due to its free and compulsory education; Sri Lanka on number two with 94% literacy rate perhaps due to its free and compulsory education for the children of certain age group. The literacy rate of other countries of South Asian is not that much impressive like Bangladesh 46%, Indian 76%, Nepal 46% and Bhutan 47 %. When we move towards South East Asia, we find China with a 91% literacy rate, Japan has 100% literacy rate; North and South Korea 99%. When we look at literacy rate of Scandinavian countries we find virtually no illiteracy in Norway, Denmark and Sweden as education is free and compulsory for certain age group. Other prominent countries of the world like France, Germany, Russian, Britain and USA have 99% literacy rates due to free and compulsory education policy. Solely Japan has more universities than the universities in the whole Muslim world. Just in Tokyo, there are over 1000 universities.

Let us look at the percentage of GDP spent by different countries on education. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics, the expenditure on education in percentage out of the total GDP by different countries has been recorded from 1999-2012 as under:

GDP spent on education 2012

The above mentioned figures and facts have made many things clear: To enhance literacy, education should be made compulsory and free. The percentage of GDP spent on education should be increased. Lesotho is a country of South Africa where 14.5 percent of the GNP is spent on education. The area of this country is about 30, 355 and the population is 1.8 million. The literacy rate as of 2004 was 85% and the interesting thing is the fact that the literacy rate among women is 95%. There are many such examples.

In short, lets gather literacy not wealth; lets invest money to earn literacy and not invest literacy to earn money.

Syed Ziaullah

Syed Ziaullah

Syed Ziaullah

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