“I can’t read,” said the rural dweller and then immediately one thing led to another. He was told to sign a contract about selling his inheritance land by a businessman. The businessman spoke anything with aim to make the rural dweller signing the contract or, since somebody who cannot read is incapable to write as well, putting his thumb mark on the contract. The only existed information which was received by the rural dweller was came from the businessman’s words only. The rural dweller was being told if the businessman is going to pay the inheritance land for Rp. 300.000,00/m2 (approximately US$ 33). How about the real price which is stated on the contract? Only Rp. 30.000,00/m2. It means merely one tenth from Rp. 300.000,00. The point: the rural dweller was being cheated by the businessman in the negotiation of his inheritance land.
The story above is going to be completely different when the rural dweller is able to read. He would notice if the content of the contract is like chalk and cheese compared to the businessman’s words. This story delivers on the importance of literacy. Literacy is the basic evidence of human knowledge. One would be considered as an educated person when one is know how to, at least, to read. Once somebody is capable in reading, usually he or she is competent also in writing.
Looking into the gist of writing, it is the indicator of the end of prehistory era. A civilization would be considered as civilized after its modern way of history is being proven with written records. Writing is an additional room of human language in every culture all the time. All kinds of writing, be they pictographic, ideographic, or phonetic writing, have their own importance but the same purpose which is communicating information inside the mind. Then, how come people without ability to read and write still exist?
Who has responsible in overcoming this problem? Is it the government, the academician, or the person who has the problem itself? I would say that all parties have the responsibility. However, the weight should be put on the educated one first since it has been their duty to help the innate. Now, what has happened after the rural dweller signed the contract? He lost his land without the proper price, followed by losing his source of income in the long-run, his land, since it was the place where his farm located, and powerless to take a legal action because of lack of knowledge as well as the businessman’s influence to the local ruler. Is that what we want to experience in our life? Everyone has their own answer but I am going to settle on the smart one.