Saturday, April 07, 2007

Horizon newsletter: Literacy or Ignorance?

The following is the article that was (or should have been) published in the English Language internal newsletter for the Sultan Qaboos University.

Do comment if you feel you have anything to add, suggest or discuss around the article's topic.


How many times have you heard this question: 'what kind of books do you like to read?' The new generation is being judged by what it reads and by what topics it should and should not read into.

Literacy may have been the most important topic back in the old days when the Arab and the Muslim world alike were known for their scholars and inventors in many – if not all – types of fields.

It is not subject to debate that education is a turning point for all the generations that have landed on God's green Earth. What is, though, is the matter or the measure in which it is judged.

Reading and writing have become one of the main communication methods of the 20th and the 21st century; so one cannot say that they are literate because they can do those two basic tasks.

The current day and age that we live in now forces itself upon us to change our definitions and perspectives of many different things. One of them being the definition of literacy, of which, can be multi-branched many a time to accommodate to one's field of choice or specialty.

You would be literate in information technology by having a good knowledge on the fundamentals of this specialization, or if you are a writer, having a broad knowledge on different cultural perspectives of civilizations, countries, leaders, poets and such.

So the question that implores is 'are you literate or ill-informed by self ignorance?'