Germany has actually a populace of over 80 million. That these, about 7.5 million adults in between the eras of 18 and also 64 room ‘functionally illiterate’ and also can barely read and also write. But assist is accessible for those affected.

You are watching: What is the literacy rate of germany

UNESCO estimates that, roughly the world, around 780 million world are barely maybe to review or write, or can not perform so in ~ all. The difficulty exists not just in negative countries or those where wars and also civil battles make it difficult to sustain a formal school device for years at a time. In Germany too, many civilization are classed as ‘functionally illiterate’. This method they read and write so badly the they need to rely ~ above outside assist in their everyday lives.

According to a research by the college of Hamburg, that the 80 million or an ext people who live in Germany, about 7.5 million adults between the periods of 18 and 64 are affected by illiteracy. That is approximately the very same number together the combined population of Germany’s four largest cities, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and also Cologne. One astonishingly high number. But there are several options easily accessible to every those that decide they want to learn how to read and write. And also there space plenty of instances that prove how worthwhile it deserve to be. Tim-Thilo Fellmer is one such example.

When that was really young, Tim-Thilo in reality looked forward to beginning school. He’d find out to create there. Soon he’d be able to read. Whole brand-new worlds would open up up to him. At least, it is what the thought. Yet all too shortly he started to view he was having trouble keeping up v his fellow pupils. ‘That do me feel really bad,’ states Fellmer. ‘If girlfriend are constantly at or close to the bottom of the class, and also you can’t carry out all the things the rather can, climate it simply seems also demanding, and there’s a woe that’s always with you, and a are afraid too.’

Tim-Thilo’s teachers were no unaware the his weakness, yet they couldn’t really help him, in a course of 30 children. After currently having required to repeat his an initial year, in the 2nd year he to be diagnosed through ‘reading and spelling weakness’ (dyslexia). However, together Fellmer now knows, this diagnosis to be wrong. Dyslexia is an natural reading and also spelling weakness. It deserve to be passed on genetically and its reason is situated in the brain. The is feasible to administer targeted support to those affected. They’ll it is in dyslexic all their lives, but that doesn’t have to get in the method of your schooling or a successful career.


It is additionally important to provide targeted support to those who room not dyslexic, who merely can’t check out or write an extremely well – but a different kind of assistance to the for dyslexic people. Because, unlike dyslexia, illiteracy walk not have a medical cause. Rather, the derives indigenous inopportune circumstances, for circumstances from moving home generally at primary school period or from troubles in the family. Yet illiteracy goes undetected lot too often, or that is mistakenly interpreted.

One factor for this is likewise that, rather often, illiterate human being become an extremely adept in ~ hiding their weakness. This begins already at school, wherein they trick your teachers come cope through written work and shot to do especially well in spoken tasks. Later, in the workplace, if a partner is unable to read and write it can often go unnoticed because that a lengthy time. Tina F., for instance, who works as a regional transport passenger attendant. She learned the arrangement of the Berlin S-Bahn lines by heart, and all the timetables, so the she could carry out information come travellers searching for the shortest relationships or the exit times of particular trains.

Of course, friend need assist to pull this off. For this reason an illiterate human who wants to hide their weakness always needs one ‘accomplice’, who helps lock in crucial situations. As soon as it involves filling in forms, for example, or analysis instruction manuals, or indeed, discovering the S-Bahn timetable by heart prefer Tina F.

You can uncover out more about Tim-Thilo Fellmer as well as other success stories by visiting the website of the campaign ‘Lesen & Schreiben: Mein Schlüssel zur Welt’ (‘Reading and also writing: my key to the world’), run by the German federal Ministry that Education and also Research (BMBF). And also you deserve to listen, too, since at this address, every the messages are obtainable as audio papers too (in German only).

Despite his illiteracy, Tim-Thilo Fellmer also managed come bluff his means through school and also early adulthood, till he to be 25. V a lot of great will on the part of his teacher he scraped with his basic school leaving certificate, and also with his father’s help, that even uncovered an apprenticeship together a vehicle mechanic. But then, that says, ‘at some point the challenges just obtained too big. I fell into a really deep hole. And that’s as soon as I decided to shot and carry out something that i didn’t really think I would cope with.

He began attending classes in reading and also writing at the neighborhood Volkshochschule, so the gradually, over several years, he might make an excellent on the points he’d missed in ~ school. He had to resolve quite a couple of setbacks, and also gave increase on process now and also then. But finally the penny appeared to drop, and his reading began to get much better and better. He found it much more and more enjoyable. So lot so that he began racing through any type of kinds of publications he can get in his hands. Now, the brand-new worlds he’d to be dreaming of together a boy really did open up.

And a door had likewise opened for Fellmer, the door to an entirely brand-new life. A life in i m sorry writing has even come to be his profession! together a successful author of children’s and young adult books with his very own publishing business, the is an example of exactly how the initiative of finding out to read and write in ~ a later date can yes, really pay off, and also of exactly how you should never let setbacks discourage you. It take it Fellmer ten years. That was a long time, however at the finish of that he currently enjoys a complimentary and self-determined life, without the fear and also shame that provided to weigh under on him.

See more: Which Instrument Is Most Like The Oboe In Construction And Sound

There’s a German saying that goes, ‘What small Hans no learn, huge Hans will never learn.’ In various other words, if a person falls short to find out something as a child at school, they certainly won’t discover it together an adult. Together the story the Tim-Thilo Fellmer shows, the is clearly nonsense!

But the reality remains that in Germany, only a fraction of those affected choose to to visit the type of adult literacy courses that are on offer in all huge towns and also cities. According to the ‘Bundesverband Alphabetisierung und Grundbildung e.V,’ (German association of literacy and straightforward education), there room only around 20,000 come 30,000 learners enrolled in together courses. A frighteningly little number.

Would you have actually thought the number of illiterate civilization in Germany could be therefore high, regardless of the mandatory schooling and good educational opportunities? What is the case in her country? sign up with in the conversation in the Alumniportal Community about illiteracy in Germany and around the world!


Author: Andreas Vierecke


The text of this web page is licenced under creative Commons Attribution 4.0 worldwide licence. Additional terms may use for other materials like images/media. By utilizing this website friend agree come the terms of Use and the Privacy Policy. Please note likewise our terms because that correct designation that the author and source and translations.


20 march 2019

Good day sir My surname is Martins, TIM-THILO to be really influenced by your articles and how u were able to accomplish what you achieve despite your dyslexia challenges. I have actually dyslexia to be on adult my major problem is order words, I can read however not an extremely well and also I recognize mathematics easily. I use software application at times to assist myself....thanks you