Basic Skills & Community Development

Among the basic skills, literacy and numeracy receive most attention in education programmes.

A literate person (Entity Dictionary) has an attaining in reading, writing and numeracy which make it possible to use these skills towards his own and his community's development.

Ten Benefits of Literacy

Virendra P Singh (Scribd) in Rational Approach to Hindi Literacy (Scribd) (page 11) lists ten benefits of literacy:

  1. Literacy overcomes the limitations of time over spoken words which disappear after they are uttered. Written words are preserved for use in future. Through literacy, words become immortal.
  2. Literacy also overcomes the limitations of space and promotes communication among people at different places. Through literacy, languages become universal.
  3. Since reading and writing is done by seeing, mental activities based on the sense of vision are strengthened. Literacy is enlightenment in a real sense.
  4. Thoughts and records can be kept separately and there is no need to strain the brain for memorizing everything. Accumulation of knowledge outside mind is possible only through literacy.
  5. Literacy promotes creativity. It helps people in experimenting with new concepts and expressing new ideas generated in the mind.
  6. Literacy helps in developing different cognitive capacities of mind. Since cognition requires memory, many things which cannot be remembered can be made available in written form.
  7. Literacy promotes and enforces honesty. A person may deny what he has said but cannot deny what he has written.
  8. Literacy opens new areas of real and conceptual worlds to be surveyed and researched for economic development. The economic prosperity in literate societies is generally more than in illiterate societies.
  9. Literacy promotes social justice and equality. The exploitation of people in an illiterate society is more than in a literate society. In a literate society, there is wider base for defending human values cherished by people.
  10. Without organized literacy action, illiteracy will continue to stagnate indefinitely along with the associated ills of poverty and underdevelopment. One of the three components used in the calculation of “Human Development Index” (HDI) by UN is “Literacy” as it is a cumulative measure of several factors that contribute to human development.

Vocational Training

Realizing the development benefits for oneself, and for the community to which one belongs requires a level of competence for several basic skills.

Vocational training helps a person to realize development benefits for oneself.

The National Literacy Mission of India provides a large number (371) of vocational training programmes in the Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) institutes.

Civic Participation for Community Development

Realizing the development benefits for the community to which one belongs requires a level of competence for the basic skills, with in addition skills for civic participation.

Literacy and related basic skills are also essential for realizing the human right of taking part in the government of his/her country, and to equal access to public service (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21).

Levels of competence for five basic skills

In this tutorial for basic skills literacy, numeracy, digital competence, and oral competence, we use the three levels of competence defined by Vox, the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning.

To the four basic skills defined by Vox, we add the basic skill civic participation. The value of the systematized content commons becomes evident in the explanation of the levels of competence for civic participation. For this skill, the levels of competence described in the Skills Framework for the Information Age(SFIA) offer a suitable model. The levels range from 1 at basic entry to 7 at a very senior level.

This collaborative tutorial is intended to improve your civic participation skills, and to allow you to share your experience with others, who may benefit from it.

Self Appraise your Competence Levels for the basic Skills

Check out: Introduction > i. Competence Self-appraisal


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