Literacy vs Education

Literacy is basically the ability to read and write, at least in one language. Literacy empowers you to be on the same pedestal as the society in which you live. In a world where information comes mostly through the written medium this is a rather crucial ability for anyone. Being literate is necessary. Being literate is indispensable. Being literate is literally just that.

Being literate is not the same as being educated. Education is more of a process than an ability. It's a loop: observe -> learn -> understand -> apply -> observe. Literacy is a tool in this process, at least it is if your choice of education is academic: science, literature, history etc

That last sentence is important! Literacy is not the only way to be 'educated'. Suppose you want to be a great fisherman? You can't just read about the different types of fish, you have to go and catch some. You have to know when and where to fish. Suppose you want to be an amazing cook? You have to burn your fingers, burn the food, burn a few utensils, know the difference between ginger and garlic and so on.

A politician, no matter how illiterate, is educated in the art of being a politician (manipulator, diplomat, shrewd). A painter, even if he doesn't know the names of colors, can be a great painter if he knows how to use them such that it appeals to observers.

They are not the same, literacy and education. The difference between them is much like the difference between a tool and a process. Literacy will give you the ability to read a book. Education is when you, at least, understand what the author is trying to convey. As an ending note I'll give an example of self-help books, something like 'Learn how to lose weight in 30 days'. What's wrong with the title? Nothing. You can learn how to lose weight in 30 days. You can 'learn' it. When you actually lose weight ... then you'll know it ...