IN today’s environment, literacy as noted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) enables the ‘identification, understanding, interpretation, creation, and communication in an increasingly digital, text-mediated, information-rich and fast-changing world’.
Therefore, in order to achieve personal and professional success, and to contribute to our respective communities and societies, we need to possess literacy beyond reading, writing, and numeracy.
As a young adult, whether you have just finished your studies, started a new job or opened your own business, it is never too late to enrich yourself with different kinds of literacy.
For example, digital literacy – which we have highlighted in this column before – will provide the skills you need to thrive in the digital economy.
Here are a few of many forms of literacy that can help you lead a more fulfilling life.
Because of how easily accessible media content has become, we are spending more time consuming them, be they films, books, music, social media, advertisements, news, or many others in existence.
However, it is also important to understand how messages within media can influence life decisions; hence, the need for media literacy skills to better access, analyse, evaluate, create, and act using every form of communication.
By being proficient in media literacy, you will have the ability to think critically about any content that you consume, which is especially helpful in evaluating online information to prevent bad ones from spreading.
Being young might mean some of you do not see the need to prioritise your health, but being highly literate in health is actually more advantageous at this point in your life.
According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, one in three Malaysian adults have poor health literacy, lacking the knowledge and skills in managing medical issues, disease prevention activities, health promotion, and healthy lifestyle practices.
Having strong health literacy enables you to find, understand, and use health information and services required effectively for everyday health decision making.
It benefits you by providing the skills and confidence to make informed decisions about your health and the health of your loved ones, to navigate the healthcare system, and essentially to practise a healthy lifestyle.
In 2019, the Malaysian government launched the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023, a five-year roadmap aimed at ensuring every Malaysian – from school children to retirees – would be financially literate.
This shows that no matter how old you are, possessing strong financial literacy is vital in understanding and using various financial skills effectively, such as personal financial management, budgeting, and investing.
By having the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make financial decisions responsibly, you will become more capable in avoiding financial fraud and pursuing your lifegoals, including saving for education or retirement, and operating a business.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.