A fully literate society

Phase 2 final version:

Every citizen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall have the right to learn how to speak, read, and write the English language. It shall be the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that programmes exist which serve to assist in this goal.

I think this is clear enough that it is a right not an expectation on any individual. However, if the constitution were to have interpretation guidance written alongside, it should probably make clear that this provision does not mandate the use of English as a first or other language at the expense of any other language.

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(Thanks to Tel

For an individual to function properly as a member of society, literacy is an essential tool. It is so important that there should be a constitutional right for every person with the right to live in the UK to speak, read and write English to a certain level. 

The Constitution need not prescribe the action any specific government must take, but by protecting it as a right it places the onus on government to address it properly and effectively through their policy making. 

Following the Cuban revolution, a policy decision was taken to ensure everyone, without exception, could read. Educated people went out into factories, fields and homes and taught their compatriots this essential skill. Yet more than 60 years later and with a vastly higher GDP, we cannot achieve the same?

This proposal is not about making value judgements about immigration. Rather, it is about the right to function as a member of society. 

edited on Apr 18, 2015 by Daniel Gaunt

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

With only one week remaining in the refining stage, the facilitators will draft some language for this idea. We'll do everything we can to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. If the original poster would like to take over the idea they are more than welcome to at any point. Please do comment to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting them up/down).

"Literacy is an essential skill in succeeding in the turbulent world of today. Every citizen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall have the right to learn how to speak, read, and write the English language. As such, it is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that programmes exist which serve to assist in this goal."

Do you have thoughts on this language? Amendments perhaps? If you do please post them and bold any changes that you have!

Daniel Gaunt Apr 13, 2015

Apologies, have been busy the last few days! Will give some thought to a draft, taking account of comments, for all mine this evening. 

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Ok so... I think there is merit in leaving out time-bound statements like in the first sentence. Other than that, I'm broadly content with the wording proposed. I'll add it to the main topic.

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 13, 2015

"Literacy is an essential skill in succeeding in the turbulent world of today."

Looking into my crystal ball, I can't help wondering what they'll make of that in the placid world of two hundred years time!

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

Not a problem at all, Degauntier! I'm looking forward to reading your statements soon!

Daniel Gaunt Apr 18, 2015

No further comments, so I'm going to finalise the clause. 

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