An English Essay
Rian Muhamad Gifari 013200900015

1. Introduction - Attention Grabber - Thesis Statement “Illiteracy is caused by poverty, lack of concern towards education, and medical learning disabilities.” 2. Illiteracy is caused by Poverty - Intro sentence - reasoning - data - closing 3.Illiteracy is caused by lack of concern towards education - Intro sentence - reasoning - data - closing 4. Illiteracy is caused by medical learning disabilities - Intro sentence - reasoning - explanation - data - closing 5. Closing - restate - recommendation - advice - conclusion

Illiteracy, and What Causes It
The world is getting more awesome each day. Genius astronauts traveled into space and rich people experienced zero-gravity flight. Unfortunately, not everybody is that lucky. In the other side of the world, people lack so many things, especially education. They could not study enough - or even, at all - to be able to ascend to a better life. A lot of people can not even read at all. According to a research conducted by United Nation Development Program in 2009 based on the definition that literacy is the ability to read and write for people above 15 years in age, the world has 83,9% literacy rate; a 16,1% illiteracy rate. It seems small, but if calculated, it means 960.000.000 people can’t read. That is almost three times the population of a large country like Indonesia! In this digital era, that kind of things looks to be impossible, but no; cultural influences, poverty and learning disabilities are real problems that exist, and caused it, caused illiteracy. Most of the time, human problems come from humans themselves. This applies to illiteracy problems too. Gender discrimination, lack of facilities, and lack of concern towards education by parental figure all correlates with the not-ever-decreasing rate of illiteracy. Since a long time ago, women were considered inferior in both physical and intellectual field than their male counterpart, and thus they were not given enough chance to educate themselves. Though this problem has been tackled by feminists around the globe such as R.A. Kartini and Juana Inés de la Cruz, the after effects still linger. In Nepal 1991, the literacy rate for men above the age of fifteen is 38,0%, so low but still very high compared to the country’s women, only 13,0%. Even then in 2001, 10 years after that, the ratio is still at a range of 2:1, with men’s literacy rate of 62,2% and women’s rate of 34.6%.

Not only that, parents who themselves was not literate will in turn made their child become one too, because they could not see what is the disadvantages of being illiterate. As long as they could eat, all is right with the world. They lack concern towards their children’s education, or just could not afford to be concerned of it. Both of this problem which was causing much of world’s illiteracy is correlated heavily with poverty. This poverty is like a giant evil squid which tentacles affect everything, everywhere, particularly education. The lack of education due to poverty in developing countries contributes heavily to its respective illiteracy rate. In India, nation with the second largest population in the world, only 66,0% of its citizen know how to read and write; meaning a third of India’s 1.187.973.000, or about 400.000.000 people in their productive age can not write nor read, maybe for as long as they could live. There is also lack of facilities to go study too, just like for the case of the tribes in Papua. The Koteka Tribes, consists of Dani, Mee, Amungme, Amungme, Moni, Damal, Yali and Nduga tribe are the primitive tribes located deep inside Western Papua Forest. Civilization hasn’t reached them yet, and this contributes to 2009 Papua’s high illiteracy rate, the highest in all Indonesia; 29,71% for people under the age of 15, 29,23% for people between the age of 15 and 44, and 31,70% for people above the age of 44. Compared to Indonesia’s average illiteracy rate of only 8%, the number is very high. Nonetheless, sometimes there are also occasions where people just can not study how much they want. Learning disabilities such as dyslexia (the inability to read) and dysphasia (the inability to organize thoughts and idea) made children can not learn how to study properly. This causes problems for them. According Journal of American Medical Association, 46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine.; and according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 15% of American students may be dyslexic.

Clearly illiteracy is a real problem caused by real societal diseases. From socio-cultural barrier to poverty to medical disability, illiteracy is a serious threat that needs to be taken care of. Help from government bodies, NGOs and individuals are very needed to cope with the situation. According to National Council on Teachers of English Standards for the English Language Arts, to participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population; a thing that seems impossible with the current rate of illiteracy. But like Jim Rohn has said; “To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask?”

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