You can read this post and other content online and offline too, it may seem incredulous to think there are several people in your community like street hawkers, domestic workers who cannot read this article or even write. They find it extremely challenging to order from a restaurant menu, follow the signboards on the road or stations, and worst of all read the voting ballot and cast their precious vote for the right candidate. They even find it hard to read an instruction manual or a prescription.
In short, it is completely unimaginable to navigate modern-day life without being literate. Literacy is the road to growth and the means through which every man, woman, and child can realize his or her dreams.
The true meaning of literacy
What is literacy?
The dictionary meaning of literacy points to the quality or state of being literate, educated, able to read or write. Literacy is a basic right of all human beings.
How does literacy impact?
- It is a tool for daily life in modern society.
- It is instrument to beat poverty.
- It is a road towards development and human progress.
We are the citizens of the global world in the 21st century. Our world is growing small with the use of technology. On the contrary, challenges are growing by leaps and bounds. One likely solution exists in harnessing the energy and creativity of all our citizens. The biggest hindrance is the lack of education.
Lack of literacy is a global challenge. To address this issue every year on September 8th UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is celebrated, raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy.
International literacy day
We celebrate International Literacy Day to raise awareness and concern for challenges related to literacy at various levels like within our local community, and globally.
In the year 1965 in Tehran, Iran at the “World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy” International Literacy Day was conceived.
Soon in 1966, UNESCO declared September 8 as International Literacy Day, with the primary purpose being “…to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.”
Literacy is rightfully regarded as a responsibility, not a luxury. It is a basic human right for everyone everywhere. International literacy day is observed to wipe out Illiteracy in every part of the world.
International Literacy day highlights the changes and improvements being made worldwide in literacy development.
The mission of literacy day is to focus on Literacy, teaching, and learning worldwide. To realize this goal the role of educators is very crucial. For Example during the pandemic time, it is important for educators to follow changing teaching practices to accommodate the new normal.
One person at a time
It is over fifty years since we celebrated our first international literacy day, illiteracy still remains a global challenge.
Data shows more than 750 million adults cannot read. Even in developed nations like the USA, it is estimated that 32 million American adults are illiterate.
Illiteracy presents a lot of challenges. The onus is on the local communities. literacy can begin from here one person at a time.
How to celebrate International Literacy day
Literacy is truly a blessing. Inability to read can block people from experiencing wonders
There are various ways to celebrate this day. Some of them are listed below.
- To celebrate the spirit of literacy organizations and individuals use their literacy to encourage and assist those who need proper mentorship to start reading and writing.
- Volunteers and students tutor children in the unprivileged communities, slum dwellings. Some NGO’s donate books to local schools, libraries
- Corporate or sector also participate to donate generously towards this cause by supporting local libraries, students tuitions and learning to launch their successful life.
- Literacy campaigns are initiated by institutions, governments, and international organizations to spread literacy at the grass-root level.
- Discussion forums and thinktank initiate, strategize, and implement the best policies for eradicating illiteracy.
- Fundraisers also help to support this noble cause.
- Online education is also a great way to promote learning . You can check out various online courses to find more.
Themes of the International Literacy Day
Every year a theme is set to build awareness around specific issues related to literacy. One year the theme was based on laying emphasis on linguistic diversity in literacy development and education to focus on issues such as the uneven distribution of literacy across the world. It also plans to achieve ‘Sustainable Development Goals. There are several other themes followed every year.
UNESCO and International Literacy Day
- UNESCO promotes International Literacy day in partnership with governments, charities, local communities, and experts in the field worldwide. Using various programs the day aims to turn attention on literacy in all its forms in a changing world.
- International Literacy Day reminds world leaders, influencers, and the general public of the current status of adult literacy and learning in the world. UNESCO has used the phrase “Literacy is the best remedy” in its banners. It promotes literacy as the key to the right for all to an education. One such goal includes improving literacy rates.
- UNESCO announces its International Literacy awards too. International Literacy Day awards help in increasing awareness of literacy and highlight the importance of adult learning everywhere across the world.
Celebrating one day to eradicate illiteracy from every corner of the world is not enough. It is just that maiden step towards a big change. This change will come with awareness.We need to work every day towards it.
Education is the gateway to a brighter future. International Literacy day is one step towards that commitment where every citizen of this world can write their own future.
International Literacy Day FAQ’s
1)What is the theme for International Literacy Day 2021?
The theme for International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.
2)Why is International Literacy Day celebrated?
Literacy opens the door for proper social and individual human development. Literacy is a basic survival skill. One pen is more powerful than the sword. Individuals can transform their lives by learning to read and write. To celebrate this spirit of human growth and development Literacy Day is celebrated.
3)Who is the founder of International Literacy Day?
UNESCO is the founder of International Literacy Day in 1967.