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International Literacy Day 2020 – September 8

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International Literacy Day - September 8 2020United Nations(UN)’s International Literacy Day is annually celebrated on 8th September to promote the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights among the general public and to work towards a more literate and sustainable society.

The International Literacy Day was celebrated on 8th September since 1966.

The theme of International Literacy Day 2020 is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond” which particularly focuses on the role of educators and the method of teaching.


To remind the importance of literacy for individuals, community and society among the international communities, at the 14th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) general conference in 1966, September 8th of every year was proclaimed as the International Literacy Day.

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:

i.Literacy plays a major role in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable development goals(SDG) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development.

ii.The SDG 4 targets to achieve literacy and numeracy in young people and adults and to provide opportunities for the unskilled to acquire them.

Events 2020:

To celebrate the International Literacy Day 2020, UN organised two virtual meetings on 8th September 2020,

i.Meeting on ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: the role of educators and changing pedagogies’ 

ii.Meeting on the Laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2020.

International Literacy Day 2020 in India:

i.Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of Education is set to launch a new scheme – Padhna Likhna Abhiyan – for adult education.NITI Ayog will be a part of it.

ii.The scheme is set to work towards achieving the goals of Total Literacy by 2030.

iii.Also to unite this scheme with the existing programmes like Rural Development, Health, Social Justice, Tribal Development, Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

International Literacy Prizes 2020:

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy every year. Over 495 projects and programmes undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have been recognized.

Through these prestigious Prizes, UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies. Currently there are two UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize and UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

Director General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France