Essay – The Illiterate Of The 21st Century

Write about the following topic:

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. Agree or Disagree?

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Write at least 250 words on this IELTS / PTE Essay.

Essay – The Illiterate Of The 21st Century

Essay - The Illiterate Of The 21st Century

Model Answer

Who is an illiterate? Dictionary meaning of an illiterate would be someone’s inability to read, write and understand. In a broader sense, lack of familiarity concerning a particular subject would make one an illiterate. So, we can also assume, by extension, that a literate individual would have sufficient knowledge of the subject in question – making him capable of understanding, and if possible, change his opinion of the matter, should a new set of information emerge. In other words, a literate should have the capacity to learn, and if circumstances dictate, unlearn and re-learn. I stand by the statement.

Information about a subject matter should empower us to form opinions. But, should conflicting or contradictory information emerge, our existing learning should not stand in our way. Education should be an enabler – and not a restricting factor. Characteristics like adaptability, upgradability, and change should be associated with literates. Education must make us more open to change, and not stand in the way.

It is a given that the kind of institutional set-up will be instrumental in determining if literacy is leading to constrictions, or if it was leading us to a world of ideas. If it the former, then there is no doubt that even educated individuals may not be warm to the idea of change.

But, to me, the purpose of education must be to open one’s mind to the possibilities of change – to the idea that to better ourselves, we must continuously learn from both past-experience and insights of the new generation; even if it means letting go of some of our old learnings. For only who cannot learn and unlearn to relearn, will be called the literate of today.

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1 Comment

  • Literacy is the biggest problem of the 21st century. In developed countries, this ratio is better while in the third world it is becoming worse and worse. The illiterate of this century is not only that one who can’t read and write, but also they have not the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn as well. This essay will elaborate that how why this condition is becoming worse and what are the reasons that this statement is true.
    It is an exact definition of illiterate that he don’t know read and write but the latest century of technology and science has changed the elements of this definition and add some further features. In old era, if people have not the ability of reading and writing, they were very good in the learning process. They try to learn more and more things. For example, if someone not able to read the national anthem, he learnt it by heart but now this practice is not anymore.
    The modern technologies of this century have snatched the power of learning from people. They are not trying to improve this deficiency because now they have a different resource to fill this. For example, computers, phones, calculators and much more such type of things those are helpful to remember anything forever. That’s the reason they are losing the power of learning and relearning.
    This essay narrated that what are the main reasons for becoming dull as well with illiteracy and why it is increasing day by day. In my opinion, I totally agree with this statement.

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