LET'S TRY TO EDUCATE THE WORLD
March 31, 2011
[Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this article are solely those of Frosty Wolldridge and not necessary the opinion of NWV, its staff or other writers.]
After the “Growing illiteracy in America” piece last week, readers flooded my mailbox with responses. The fact remains, we cannot and will not remain a vibrant economy or society unless we educate our children to become productive and contributing members of our country.
Since I see no end to the 3.1 million immigrants being invited into our country annually, and there is no outpouring of national sentiment to stop it, we may want to help educate the children and adults of other countries to help themselves.
Veteran Peace Corps volunteer Beverley Tisdell offered a few ideas:
“Basically I feel we need to take the offensive directly to the countries around the world where there are high illiteracy rates,” said Tisdell. “If a country does not have a minimum of 2 percent of its population graduating from high school and literate, it is a losing battle. Some of these ideas apply to the US as we are becoming a 3rd world country.
“So I've listed 11 solutions just off the top of my head. Granted they may cost some money but not as much as here in the US. Some of the solutions will also apply to this country as well. My travels have been limited to Europe and Central America but I have lived with the poverty, degradation and ignorance in a way that few Americans have the opportunity to experience. In addition to being an R.N., I retired as an adult and high school arts teacher although I have taught other subjects as well.”
Beverley Tisdell offers solutions to illiteracy:
1. Expand Micro-loans to women which will allow their children to attend school and build the local economy as well.
2. Expand the Peace Corps so there are enough volunteers to meet the requests of participating countries. The Peace Corps is the most cost effective return on tax payer money of any program. It requires only .01% of the State Department budget. It has been flawed when Republican presidents cut their budget and appointed political directors who had no vision of the Peace Corps missions.
3. Develop in-country literacy programs for adults similar, but updated, to Honduras' Radiofonica. Small radios were sent to remote villages with no teachers, to broadcast reading lessons in Spanish while an adult who may or may not be able to read, turns the pages on a flip chart.
4. Follow Fidel Castro's model sending teams into Cuba's countryside to teach, resulting in Cuba having one of the highest literacy rates in L.A.
5. Nutritional deficiencies in children not only injury their health, stunt their growth but lower IQs. This applies to the US as well as a hungry child cannot learn.
6. Where parents are forced to send their children to work as domestics, or to sell homemade candies, orchids, sometimes themselves, from door to door in order to support their families, instead, pay the parents to send their children to school to replace the pittance (sometimes fifty cents) those children earn. It is a sound investment for any community.
7. Look at the model of Dudamel and what he has done for the Venezuelan slum kids with music.
8. Kids & adults in inner cities everywhere need to reconnect with nature to gain a sense of awe, self-respect and hope. Read Michael J. Cohen.
9. In the US, we have systematically removed the arts, crafts and physical training, even recess from our schools whenever the budget is cut. Kids relate to these right-brained activities and those are the things that motivate and keep them in school. Not everyone is meant to be a scholar or to go to college. We need apprenticeships and trade schools and trained craftsmen. These are jobs that can't be exported; but we have lost the belief in the dignity of work and value of service.
10. Subliminal messages, brain washing if you will, has played a big part in dumbing down our population and that of other countries as well.
Look at the text books, watch TV, magazine ads, and popular music on the radio. It's there ad nausea. The recent expose' of Disney productions is now all over the internet -- even FaceBook.
11. One size does not fit all. Ungraded primaries would allow a child to remain in the primary class until he physically, emotionally and intellectually matured enough to meet those requirements before being passed to the 4th grade. At that age children will learn quite easily from each other. At the "gang age" I would teach boys and girls in separate classes even though they were in the same school. Then in high school they would be better able to handle the co-ed classes.
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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