Nearly half of all American adults—60 million people—are functionally illiterate. Eight million students have been labelled as “learning disabled,” with prescription drugs too often the “remedy” rather than the three “Rs.”
The United States Department of Education reports that every year, one in three high school students—more than 1.2 million—drop out. Other industrialised nations suffer the same plague—dropout rates average nearly 15 % in Europe.
Some 30 million American adults score at “Below Basic” in rudimentary language skills, and 60 million more can perform only the simplest everyday tasks involving words and numbers.
Studies show that illiteracy is a key factor in crime. An estimated 60 % of adult prisoners are functionally or marginally illiterate and 85 % of juvenile offenders are deficient in reading, writing and basic math.
The cost of this crisis to government, businesses and taxpayers runs in the trillions of dollars. The cost in human terms is incalculable.
In much of the world, the crisis is even deeper, with broad access to education nonexistent. Some 80 % of the 113 million children who do not attend school are barred from doing so by poverty and internal wars. In sub-Saharan Africa, Southern and Western Asia, the Arab States and North Africa, school nonattendance ranges from 24 to 40 % of school-age children.
Is it possible to rescue failing or inaccessible education systems and bring hope to the 1 billion illiterate people worldwide? Is it possible to enable individuals to achieve literacy and competence and thus contribute to the life and culture of our society?
The answer is yes, and it lies in the breakthrough discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard and making them globally available through the efforts of Applied Scholastics International.
Education in the fullest sense of the word is the goal of Applied Scholastics. The aim is not only to help students resolve study difficulties and overcome barriers, but to enable them to become self-sufficient, independent learners who can be responsible for their own lifelong learning and education.