The Bugbear of Literacy

“‘Universal compulsory education, of the type introduced at the end of the 19th century, has not fulfilled expectations by producing happier and more effective citizens; on the contrary, it has created readers of the yellow press and cinema-goers’ (Karl Otten). A master who can himself not only read, but also write good classical Latin and Greek, remarks that ‘there is no doubt of the quantitative increase in literacy of a kind, and amid the general satisfaction that something is being multiplied it escapes enquiry whether the something is profit or deficit.’ He is discussing only the ‘worst effects’ of enforced literacy, and concludes: ‘Learning and wisdom have often been divided; perhaps the clearest result of modern literacy has been to maintain and enlarge the gulf.'”
An excerpt from The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy

Click on the following link to view the full PDF version of the essay:


2 thoughts on “The Bugbear of Literacy

  1. dear Tomajji.
    my pranam.
    this has a link to your earlier post that given a chance you will make Yogavashishta a compulsory learning in the curricula. the present day education is designed to have human robots suiting to the needs of certain industry world wide. the basic meaning of freedom is kept robbed from the masses.
    Thank you to be with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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