What is illiteracy?

Meaning of Illiteracy

Illiteracy is the lack of knowledge of the alphabet , which means that the individual cannot read or write .

Illiteracy is the inability that some people have to comprehend (understand) the text they have just read.

When, even if people are literate , they cannot interpret the text that was given to them interpreted. This type of illiteracy is quite common.


Definition of Illiteracy according to the RAE

According to the UNESCO definition, “ a functionally illiterate person is one who cannot participate in all activities in which literacy is required for effective performance in his or her group and community.   It also allows you to continue to use reading, writing and numeracy in the service of your own development and the development of your community”.


One of the biggest problems in underdeveloped countries is illiteracy (not to be confused with ignorance).

The fight to reduce illiteracy is old and its repression has not been possible. Education has been considered one of the greatest privileges that human beings can enjoy.

It can be said that, today, society is experiencing a new form of illiteracy , called digital illiteracy .

This type of deficiency is related to the lack of knowledge necessary to use personal computers, cell phones and electronic diaries and master the systems that operate these machines, such as surfing the world wide web.

Global problem

The serious problem of illiteracy in the world continues to be one of the main priority problems to be solved since the World Conference on Education for All.

This conference was attended by representatives from all over the world and it was concluded that literacy is one of the key factors in solving one of the most pressing problems in society.

The full realization of the human being can only occur through education and promotion. It is essential for the development of nations.

As such, education is an extremely useful tool for combating poverty and inequality, raising health and social well-being, creating the basis for sustainable economic development.

 For this reason, education was included in the list of eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals .

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