The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.” Wikipedia
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development. UNESCO
A life long reader; I consider myself fortunate to have lived in places and with people that placed a high value on being comfortable with the written word.
My family are readers. My friends do tend to be also. However this is not the case with everyone.
Public libraries actively promote reading and writing to people of all ages. These are a wonderful resource that are under-appreciated and at risk.
Today – as a celebration of reading and literacy – I shall visit my local library. I perhaps won’t thank the librarians and support staff out loud – but those words will be silently running through my mind all the same!
* International Literacy Day is celebrated each year on September 8.
* International Literacy Day was first observed on September 8, 1967.
* The aim of International Literacy Day is to focus attention on the need to promote worldwide literacy.
* The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is the founder of International Literacy Day, and is responsible for appointing a jury to award international literacy prizes.
* The UN estimates that almost 800 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read or write (about two-thirds of this number are women) and that almost 130 million youth do not know how to read or write.
* On International Literacy Day, individuals, organisations, and countries throughout the world renew their efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate their commitment to providing education for all.
* As part of a network of literacy organisations, the International Reading Association cosponsors an annual celebration of International Literacy Day, which typically includes featured speakers, representatives from a wide range of governmental and nongovernmental institutions, members of the press, and invited guests.
* State and provincial councils and national affiliates of the International Reading Association often sponsor International Literacy Day activities and celebrations.