ISLAMABAD: The United Nations’ (UN) International Literacy Day will be observed on September 8 to raise people’s awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world.
According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed a 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade.
According to the global monitoring report over education it is noted that one among the five man and two third women is illiterate.
Some of them have minimum literacy skills, some children are still out of school and some are irregularly attending the school.
South and West Asia is noted to have the lowest adult literacy rate of about 58.6%. The countries with the lowest literacy rate are Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
International Literacy Day to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.
The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The theme of this year’s International Literacy Day is ‘Literacy in a Digital World’.
On 7 and 8 September, 2017 a special two-day event will be organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, with the overall aim to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly digitally-mediated societies, and to explore effective literacy policies and programmes that can leverage the opportunities that the digital world provides.
The 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes awards ceremony will also take place to recognize and reward excellent literacy practices from around the world in connection with this year’s theme.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, promotes, as part of its agenda, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives.
Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them. – APP