5 minutes

types of illiteracy


Alaa Jarrad


September 13, 2021

On the eighth of September, the world timidly celebrated the International Literacy Day, which was declared by the United Nations in 1966, and before that, UNESCO made efforts in 1946, and its impact is not yet clear. According to the organization, literacy is an essential factor for achieving sustainable development, as it works To enhance participation in the labor market, improve the health and psychological conditions of children and families, reduce poverty, and provide more life opportunities.


At least 750 million young people and adults still cannot read and write, while 250 million children fail to acquire basic literacy skills, and this situation leads to the exclusion of those with a low educational level and those with limited skills from participating, learning, earning a livelihood and providing a decent life.

In my opinion, the number of people who cannot read and write is much greater than those official statistics, and those who follow the level of language on the social media channels will realize that a large segment of those who have degrees are already illiterate.

In general, the traditional concept of illiteracy, as the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, is not the only type of illiteracy, as the educated person must also have the ability to understand and explain things, to be creative and to communicate, in a world where dependence on content and the richness of information is increasing.

From this standpoint, we realize that there are at least four other types of illiteracy, namely: first, technology illiteracy and the use of software and systems that help improve job performance and obtain better job opportunities. Such as "Zoom" and "Microsoft Teams", which showed some of the difficulties faced by many in learning the basics of using these simple programs, not to mention learning to use programming languages, reading databases, and learning to protect computers and their contents.

The second type is learning illiteracy, meaning that the vast majority of people do not understand well the best ways of personal learning, as some may learn by reading, some by listening, and some by watching, and there are different methods of learning and retrieving the lessons learned. A person can learn through contemplation and contemplation of situations and experiences that he is going through personally, or from the experiences of others, and he can learn from a mentor or guide, or through travel.

The third type of illiteracy is self-ignorance, meaning that some do not know themselves well, and do not realize their true strengths, weaknesses, or opportunities for improvement, and therefore many work in jobs that are not related to the nature of their personalities or ambitions, and the person does not realize what is suitable for him and what not fit him.

The fourth type is illiteracy in solving problems, where many are not proficient and have not been trained in different methods of solving problems, so that their way of dealing with the problem may make it more complicated, so it is very important to learn that skill.

I imagine there is more to learn from basic life skills that make our work and our lives easier.

A person can learn by contemplating and reflecting on the situations and experiences that he is going through personally, or from the experiences of others, and he can learn from a mentor or guide, or through travel.



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