International Literacy Day-September 8th, 2014

Today is UNESCO International Literacy Day 2014, a day designed to champion literacy and how it can create sustainable development for the people of the world. More information can be found by going to UNESCO’s website.

If I had known about this before, I would have posted about it a few days ago however it must have been fate that I only found out today anyway as today is also the day that the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, and BBC News are carrying reports that children and adults alike are struggling with their literacy and, in the adults case, numeracy.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the UK’s literacy levels are down and they are predicted to be even worse by 2025, particularly among white boys from poorer homes whilst BBC News says that adults are unable to gain the vital skills they need because they cannot access the training they need.

You can read these reports if you are interested by going to 1.5m Children “Won’t Read Well”- Daily MailHalf of poor white boys struggling to read at 11: Children more likely to read text messages than books, study finds – Daily Mail and Urgent Help Needed For Adults With Poor Skills, Say MPs – BBC News.

This seems crazy that children and adults are growing up and struggling with the very basic skills that will help them getting GCSE’s (the very basic level of qualification necessary for most jobs in the UK), holding down jobs, doing household bills and administration and so much more. The closure of our libraries certainly do not help as, for many families, this is probably the only place they would have access to books for free to read. We also have a state education system designed to give everyone the chance of getting the very basic skills in literacy and numeracy.

Therefore, I definitely support UNESCO’s International Literacy Day.

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Book Review: Imagine My Surprise… Unpublished Letters to The Daily Telegraph, Edited by Iain Hollingshead

Yep, sorry, next to no posts because, again, life is getting in the way. I doubt this review will be long.

Not all letters sent to news papers get published naturally. Some are destined to live in the slush pile forever simply because they are not very good or interesting. Others are just unprintable. Then there are gems from the papers readers, ranging from the x-rated to the mad, the bad puns to the offensive. And it’s these letters sent to the British paper, The Daily Telegraph, that Iain Hollingshead has collated and put into the latest of these books.

Many offer amusing conversations between readers via the medium of the paper, some are the amusing views on recent stories from within the last couple of years and others are just weird and wonderful thoughts and ideas that seem to wander into readers minds and makes them send those thoughts and ideas to the Telegraph!

This book is very amusing and has some wonderful laugh out loud moments. Printed as small letters all starting with SIR, you could essentially dip in and out of it as and when you want and provides an interesting view on the British public. Internationally, I think it would appeal to anyone who would be interested in the British sense of humour.

Not all are funny in my mind and I think it’s because some of the jokes and comments are just going over my head (the Telegraph seems to have a very middle class readership!) but really this is nit picking over an otherwise very good book.

This book amused me and made giggle and laugh out loud at times. I will definitely be trying to find the other three books that goes before this one.