Bolivia Prepares Literacy Programs in 36 Indigenous Languages

Since Evo Morales took office illiteracy has been reduced from 13.3 percent to 2.9 percent, the lowest rate in the history of Bolivia.

Next year Bolivia plans to kick off literacy programs in the 36 Native languages recognized and spoken in the South American nation, the education ministry announced on Friday.

“It’s very clear that the issue of literacy needs to be diversified and strengthened. We have already started to work with some of them,” the head of the illiteracy campaign, Ramiro Tolaba said to teleSUR.

Tolaba also considers it necessary to create methodologies for teaching literacy to people with hearing and visual disabilities. “We need to make much more progress in this regard and the challenge is huge, but this is what the country needs,” he added.

During the past decade and under the government of President Evo Morales, illiteracy was reduced from 13.3 percent to 2.9, the lowest rate in the history of Bolivia.

President Morales, who is the country’s first Indigenous president, has advanced Indigenous rights in the country. Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples constitute approximately 62 percent of the country’s population of over 10 million. In 2008 he adopted the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bolivia’s constitution states that the official languages are Spanish and all 36 languages spoken by the country’s Indigenous nations. It also states that universities must implement programs for the recovery, preservation, development, and dissemination of learning these different languages.

Punctuation in novels

When we think of novels, of newspapers and blogs, we think of words. We easily forget the little suggestions pushed in between: the punctuation. But how can we be so cruel to such a fundamental part of writing?

Inspired by a series of posters, I wondered what did my favorite books look like without words. Can you tell them apart or are they all a-mush? In fact, they can be quite distinct. Take my all-time favorite book, Absalom, Absalom!by William Faulkner. It is dense prose stuffed with parentheticals. When placed next to a novel with more simplified prose — Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy — it is a stark difference (see above).


Doing His Part: When This Man Found A Severed Leg On The Beach, He Started Using It To Point People In The Direction Of The Public Library

Prepare to be inspired.

Far too often, people neglect how great of a resource our libraries really are. But not Jeffrey King, a 34-year-old man from Charleston, SC, who just did the most amazing thing to promote literacy in his community: When Jeffrey found a severed leg on the beach, he started using it to point people in the direction of the public library.

Read more

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It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. - Oscar Wilde

Happy International Literacy Day, everyone.