In some developed countries, the illiteracy rate is on the rise


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

Write about the following topic:

Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a problem in developing countries. However, it is becoming apparent that in some developed countries, the illiteracy rate is on the rise.

Discuss possible causes for increasing illiteracy rates in developed countries.

What effect it may have on society in such countries?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the illiteracy rate in some developed countries, challenging the traditional notion that illiteracy is primarily a problem in developing nations. This trend raises concerns about the potential causes and effects of rising illiteracy rates in these countries.

One possible cause of increasing illiteracy rates in developed countries is the rapid advancement of technology. While technology has brought about many benefits, such as improved communication and access to information, it has also led to a decline in reading and writing skills. With the prevalence of digital devices and social media, many individuals are spending less time engaging in traditional forms of literacy, such as reading books or writing essays. As a result, their literacy skills may become underdeveloped, leading to an increase in the overall illiteracy rate.

Another contributing factor to rising illiteracy rates in developed countries could be the lack of emphasis on literacy education in schools. With the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, there may be a decreased emphasis on developing strong literacy skills. As a result, students may not receive adequate instruction in reading and writing, leading to a decline in literacy levels across the population.

The increasing illiteracy rates in developed countries can have significant effects on society. One of the most notable impacts is the potential for a widening gap between the literate and illiterate populations. This could lead to social inequality, as those with lower literacy levels may face challenges in accessing and understanding important information, such as healthcare resources or job opportunities. Additionally, a higher illiteracy rate may also lead to a decline in the overall cognitive abilities of the population, impacting the country’s economic productivity and innovation.

In conclusion, the rising illiteracy rates in developed countries may be attributed to factors such as technological advancements and a lack of emphasis on literacy education in schools. The potential effects of increasing illiteracy rates include social inequality and a decline in cognitive abilities, which could have far-reaching implications for the overall well-being of society. It is crucial for policymakers and educators to address these issues and prioritize literacy education to mitigate the negative impacts of illiteracy in developed countries.

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