Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Literacy - We Can All Help

International Literacy Day 2011 celebrates peace

This year’s International Literacy Day, celebrated world-wide on 8 September, will focus on the link between literacy and peace. During a ceremony in New Delhi, India, UNESCO will award the international Confucius and King Sejong literacy prizes to projects in Burundi, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States of America.
Also in New Delhi, an international conference on Women’s Literacy for Inclusive and Sustainable Development is being organized by UNESCO’s E9 initiative, from 8 to 10 September.

On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.
Despite many and varied efforts, literacy remains an elusive target: some 793 million adults lack minimum literacy skills which means that about one in six adults is still not literate; 67.4 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.

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.
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:
  1. Education for all
  2. Millennium development targets
  3. United Nations literacy decade and
  4. 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 farfetched 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 farfetched 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.

IDEA STARTERS – International Literacy Day


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