8th September is celebrated as International Literacy Day globally
8th September is celebrated as International Literacy Day globally every year by UNESCO in order to raise awareness of the importance of literacy and also to remind people globally of the vital importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. UNESCO at its General Conference on 26 October in 1966 declared 8 September to be the International Literacy Day in order to highlight the importance of literacy globally. There is no doubt that literacy is considered to be a necessity for social, personal and economic development. International Literacy day is celebrated to promote the human attention towards the literacy and know their rights for personal, social and human development. As, food is vital and important to be alive as well as for our survival and literacy is also important for the growth, prosperity and vitality of the community or country. It is a necessary tool to eradicate poverty, lowering the child mortality, controlling the population growth, attaining the gender equality etc. It is also said that literacy has the ability to raise the family status. As great English epic poet John Milton (1608-1674) said, “Education is the harmonious development of body, mind and soul.” Political scientist Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) said, ” Knowledge is power.” As B.B. King Said, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
According to UNESCO Statistics of October 2018 , “Some 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults are still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 60.7 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.” The theme for 2020 is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.” It highlights the especially on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults.
UNESCO continues to play a leading role in improving global literacy and promoting International Literacy Day with governments, communities, etc. Through themes and several programmes, it aims to highlight the role of literacy and skills development in the context of a changing world.
Bidyot Bhowmik, Columnist, writer and advisor to CBNA
Montreal, Canada , 8th September 2020