Literacy is the potential to read. Whereas, the sum of literate individuals in a given age classification, demonstrated as a percentage of the entire population in that age group is called literacy rate. The literacy rate measured among individuals aged 15 years and older is the adult literacy rate and the youth literacy rate measures literacy among individuals aged 15 to 24 years. For economic development as well as the individuals and the community’s welfare, literacy is crucial.
The correlation between formal education systems and the economy is both composite and multidimensional. This is partly because the structure and organization of education always reflect ideological beliefs about its meaning, purpose, and relationship to other institutions. The reason for this complication is the historical evolution of production, distribution, and exchange. Literacy has been conceived traditionally as having a vital role in evolving an economy. Literary also helps to spread awareness among people about their rights. People with up to mark literacy skills enjoy a higher standard of living have greater job opportunities and are able to grasp new skills that can further help them in the workplace. It also helps them put themselves out of destitution and chronic unemployment. Also, as swiftly as our technological world is changing and how complicated it is becoming, it is vital to expand our knowledge and learn new expertise in order to keep up with the pace.
Contemporary definitions expand the concept of literacy to include vast cognitive expertise, and expand it across the entire population: people are more or less literate depending on how efficiently they understand and use printed information to solve everyday problems at work and at home. A country with a high literacy rate is more likely to attract a large number of investors and entrepreneurs as well as the cash inflow which in turn has a great impact on the country’s economy. A society’s economic prosperity and literacy have a great influence on each other as they mutually grow together. Its production capacity depends on different factors including technology; what kind are they using, physical capital (machinery, buildings, or computers) and the number of workers; and their quality. This quality is mainly determined by human capital (the stock of skills, knowledge, and experience). When a worker has a higher educational status, it increases the GDP of the economy and the efficiency of these workers as their combined knowledge and experience improves.
As for Pakistan, it has one of the world’s worst literacy rates, which is the main reason for its stagnant economy and slow agricultural growth. The net literacy rate of Pakistan remains consistent at 58 percent with 70 percent of them being males and 48 percent of them being females. There are key performances on which the overall education condition is based on, such as the number of institutes, enrollment rates, and teachers who have experienced slight improvement. During 2016-17, the total variety of enrollments on the country level changed into 48.062 million as compared to 46.223 million during 2015-16.
Following the, 2017-2018, Pakistan Economic Survey, the literacy rate for Pakistan was at 58 percent which included ten years and above. The overall national enrolment number was 54 percent considering that Punjab was leading with 59 percent, then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 53, Sindh by 48 percent, and Balochistan at 33 percent. Public expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be 2.2 percent in the financial year 2017 as compared to 2.3 percent of GDP in the financial year 2016.
The constructive role represented by education in the development process is rigorously acknowledged. Countries that have higher rates of literacy and levels of education attaintment have developed more swiftly than those whose literacy levels and educational achievements have been far less satisfactory.
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics, and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman, and child can realize his or her full potential.” ― Kofi Annan