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International Literacy Day 2014

International literacy day 2014 theme is "Literacy and sustainable development",  2013 theme is "Literacies for the 21st Century" and 2012 theme is "Literacy and Peace".

Educational institutions and literacy missions around the world commemorates the International Literacy Day on September 8. Endorsed by UNESCO, this day is proclaimed for disseminating literacy awareness amongst world's illiterate community.

Recognition of Literacy by UN

Adopted in the year 1965 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Literacy Day is observed every year, on this day with a new mission.

Since its very inception, this day became a special occasion to mark literacy awareness and many educational programs featured this particular day in their year round events. But in the year 1990, the United Nations General Assembly provided a bolster to global literacy by proclaiming the year as International Literacy Year. The special year marked the ongoing commitment of the world community to boost and support literacy as a key to personal progress and to the socio-economic development of nations.

International Literacy Day 2009 theme is "The Power of Literacy." It means this year the focus will be on the empowerment of literacy and its importance for participation, social progress and citizenship. Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the year 2009-2011 of the United Nations Literacy Decade has been accepted.

What literacy is all about?

The definition of literacy and a literate person is vast according to UNESCO. A literate person is one, who can, with understanding, both read and write a short statement relevant to routine life, and capable of analytical understanding of men’s condition in the world. Literacy is a means of personal liberation and development and delivering individuals educational efforts. Literacy is a method of achieving faculties to develop their economic status and general well being and inculcating values of national integration, conservation of surroundings, fairer sex’s equality, observance of standard family tradition, etc.

Why literacy is important?

Literacy is not just about educating, it is a unique and powerful tool to eradicate poverty and a strong means for social and human progress. The focus of literacy lies in acquiring basic education for all, eradicating poverty, reducing infant mortality, simmering down population growth, reaching gender equality and ensuring constant development, peace and democracy. There are sufficient reasons why literacy is the centre of Education for All (EFA). A good quality basic education equips people with literacy potentials for life and further learning; literate parents are inclined to send their children to school; literate people are prone to access continuing educational opportunities; and educated societies are better geared to keep pace with the pressing development.

Hence literacy is considered as an effective way to enlighten a society and arm it to facing the challenges of life in a stronger and efficient way, raise the level of personal living, create and assist change the society.

Alarming Statistics

Despite many and multifarious efforts, the literacy rate across the world looks alarming. According to UN analysis there are close to four billion literate people world wide and some 776 million people lack minimum literacy skills, that mean one in five adults are yet to literate; 75 million children did not attend school and many more attend irregularly or are drop outs. Almost 35 countries have a literacy rate of less than 50% and a population of more than 10 million people who are illiterate. 85% percent of the world's illiterate population dwells in these countries, and two-thirds are fairer sex.

Total Literacy Requires Collective Efforts

Besides some customary bottlenecks have being observed in some under developed countries like population blast, lack of proper infrastructure and other factors, the grave backlash of the present economic crunch has also cut down the pace of the total literacy drive.

According to the UN, it calls for a combine parallel efforts, sufficient resources and endeavor, strategies, and continued analysis of the developmental work revised political will and for accepting to do things differently at all levels - locally, nationally and trans-nationally.

Four Tier Plan

Since 2000, for disseminating literacy across the world in big scale various governments of the world have announced four initiatives in collaboration with several agencies of the United Nations. These four initiatives are:

  • Education for all
  • Millennium development targets
  • United Nations literacy decade and
  • United Nations decade of education for constant development. 

Several educational programs have been launched by the governments of world to make the people literate. Of course, such literacy programs have become successful, but still a good section of country’s population is still non-literate.

Making the entire literate is yet a far fetched goal. The fact is that without making the entire world literate we cannot expect a global development.

On this special day, let us take an oath to make our country as well as the world literate. It is possible if we take the very first step ourselves by sparing some time for uneducated people living around us. 

Several educational programs have been launched by the governments of world to make the people literate. Of course, such literacy programs have become successful, but still a good section of country’s population is still non-literate.

Making the entire literate is yet a far fetched goal. The fact is that without making the entire world literate we cannot expect a global development.

On this special day, let us take an oath to make our country as well as the world literate. It is possible if we take the very first step ourselves by sparing some time for uneducated people living around us.

 

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