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The economic impact of illiteracy

Illiteracy breeds exclusion in every area of society, and it comes with a hefty price tag. In 2010, it was estimated that illiteracy costs South Africa R450 billion each year. “In a cross-country growth model, poor quality schooling emerges as the variable requiring the most urgent policy attention to sustain and improve South Africa’s economic development. Both microeconomic and macroeconomic estimates suggest that with a more typical level of school performance South Africa’s GDP would be 23% to 30% higher than it currently is.”

Low levels of literacy and education in general can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly-changing, technology-driven world.

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