The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International Literacy Day (ILD) is annually observed across the globe on September 8th to highlight the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
The day also aims to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
The theme of UNESCO’s ILD 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.
i.In 1966, UNESCO proclaimed the 8th September of every year as International Literacy Day to highlight the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies.
ii.The first-ever International Literacy Day was observed on 8th September 1967.
Literacy & SDG:
Literacy is a major component of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4: Quality Education) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UNESCO Strategy for Youth and Adult Literacy 2020-2025:
i.UNESCO adopted a new UNESCO Strategy for Youth and Adult Literacy for 2020 to 2025 at UNESCO’s 40th General Conference in Paris with support from the Member States.
ii.The 4 strategic priority areas of the new 5-year strategy are
- Developing national literacy policies and strategies.
- Addressing the learning needs of disadvantaged groups,(especially women and girls).
- Utilising digital technologies to increase access and improve learning outcomes.
- Monitoring progress and assessing literacy skills and programmes.
UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:
UNESCO International Literacy Prizes has been recognising the excellence and innovation in the field of literacy since 1967.
The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize:
i.The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was established in 1989 with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea which recognises mother language-based literacy development.
ii.Each prize consists of a medal, a diploma and 20000 USD.
- National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), India.
- Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, South Africa.
- Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI), Guatemala.
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy:
i.The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was established in 2005 with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China which considers functional literacy, leveraging technological environments, in support of adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth.
ii.Each prize consists of a medal, a diploma and 30000 USD.
- Construyendo y Creciendo, Mexico
- Ain-Shams University, Egypt
- ‘Association of Literacy Teachers Who Use Information and Communications Technology (GA-TIC)’, Côte d’Ivoire
About United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Founded on 16th November 1945