What is Literacy?
Literacy is the capacity to read, write, speak, and listen in a way that facilitates effective communication and contributes to our ability to make sense of the outside world. It goes without saying that it gives the person access to a world of opportunity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us understand how technology can eliminate all of the physical hurdles that learning and literacy confront globally, even if the idea of distance learning is not new. Today is a day to consider why education should be restricted to a small number of students and classrooms when technology has made it feasible for education to spread far and wide. Additionally, it is a day dedicated to advancing technology and finding new, more effective ways to educate and train all learners worldwide.
What are the benefits of literacy?
• Promotes lifelong learning and the development of skills.
• Strengthens the economy.
• Improves health.
• Promotes peace, democracy, and gender equality.
• Improves overall quality of life and self-esteem.
The social, moral, and most importantly, economic development of each person and society as a whole depends on literacy. Increasing people’s awareness of their rights and dignity also contributes to a society that is more inclusive.
To promote awareness of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies as well as the need to intensify efforts to develop more literate cultures, International Literacy Day (ILD) is observed on September 8 every year. It is crucial to draw attention to the literature-related issues that individuals face on a daily basis and to support programs that advance universal literacy.
The History of International Literacy Day
UNESCO designated September 8 as International Literacy Day on October 26, 1966 in order to address the problem of illiteracy in the world. In addition to combating illiteracy, the objective was to encourage reading as a means of empowering individuals and entire communities. This will increase people’s quality of life and provide work opportunities for numerous people all around the world.
The adoption of this day was part of the UN’s strategy for reaching its Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both include the issue of literacy as a major goal.
International Literacy Day (ILD) festivities have been held every year since 1967 to raise awareness of the value of literacy as a matter of human rights and dignity and to push the literacy agenda in the direction of a more literate and sustainable society. Despite advancements, literacy issues still exist, with at least 771 million adults and children today lacking even the most basic literacy abilities.
The Theme of International Literacy Day 2022
As a result of its significant contribution to the advancement of literacy worldwide, UNESCO works with governments, non-profit organizations, local communities, and experts in the field to support International Literacy Day. The day adopts a fresh theme every year in an effort to promote reading in all of its forms in a society that is evolving. There is no question that we cannot improve the world or ourselves if we lack literacy.
The theme for this year’s International Literacy Day is “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”, and it will serve as a chance to reconsider the basic significance of literacy learning spaces for fostering resilience and guaranteeing high-quality, equitable, and inclusive education for everyone. People will be able to relate to and comprehend the idea of literacy through this theme.
The Significance of International Literacy Day
According to UNESCO, “literacy is the best treatment,” and it is the cornerstone of everyone’s right to an education. Additionally, as we are all aware, the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals mobilize efforts to eradicate poverty and injustice on a global scale, and improving literacy rates is a crucial aspect of this effort.
The UN acknowledges that being illiterate doesn’t just mean being unable to read and write. It leads to a wide range of issues, including poverty due to a lack of economic possibilities, the repression of human rights and dignity, and exclusion from government plans for social and economic growth, among many others. Therefore, it is even more crucial to get this scar removed from humanity’s face. The general public learns about their rights and how to protect them through literacy and communication. In order to eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality, maintain population control, and achieve gender equality, literacy is crucial. The major element of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals program of the UN is literacy.
People that are literate are better able to communicate and provide better input on government policies, addressing the flaws in current plans and developing more practical policy adjustments.
2022 Commemoration of International Literacy Day
The growth of international literary endeavours has been hampered by the rapidly shifting global context in recent years. Nearly 24 million students—11 million of them are expected to be girls and young women—may never return to a formal education in the wake of the pandemic. We must use an integrated strategy to enhance and modify the current learning environments and enable literacy learning from the perspective of lifelong learning in order to ensure that no one is left behind. On September 8 and 9, 2022, in Côte d’Ivoire, a two-day hybrid international event will be held at the world level.
The core of regional, national, and local levels is the worldwide commemoration of International Literacy Day. As a result, the 2022 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes award ceremony will serve as a platform for the announcement of this year’s excellent programs and literacy practices. Happy International Literacy Day 2022!