The International Literacy Day is being observed today, 8 September, to remind people that literacy is a right. The day raises awareness about the importance of literacy as a matter of human rights and dignity across the world.
The day is marked to advance the literacy agenda that enables human beings to march towards a more cultured, literate and sustainable society. As per the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), there are at least 773 million people who lack basic literacy skills presently. International Literacy Day seeks to remind the world to make efforts to bridge the literacy divide.
Every year, the International Literacy Day is observed under a specific theme. Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this year, the theme this year is “Literacy for a Human-Centred Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide”.
While the pandemic has hindered the learning of young minds, it has also increased the divide of knowledge among the citizens. Besides, the theme this year has been chosen keeping in mind that the learning process has shifted to digital platforms and to create alertness among people regarding digital literacy. The main idea or focus of this year’s theme is to learn and explore the ways in which technology has improved learning so that no one is left behind.
The World Literacy Day was instituted during the World Conference of Ministers of Education in Iran’s capital Tehran in 1965. The members in the conference stressed on eradicating ignorance so that people across the world will have a greater access to livelihood.
In 1966, UNESCO declared 8 September as International Literacy Day, marking its observance on a global scale. The first World Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967.
Among the many factors that help build a nation or an individual, literacy is a powerful one. It helps people to think independently and empowers themselves.
World Literacy Day plays a vital role in reminding people the importance of literacy in societies, communities and individuals. It aims to highlight the necessary requirements to help build more literate societies around the world.