The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International Literacy Day (ILD) is annually observed on September 8 across the world to highlight the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies and also to highlight the positive effects of a higher literacy rate.
- The theme for ILD 2022 is “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”
Objective- To raise awareness and remind people of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights and to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all individuals around the globe.
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 1966.
Why September 8?
8th September marks the date of the inauguration of the World Conference of Ministers on the Eradication of Illiteracy held in 1965 in Teheran, Iran.
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.
i.Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning.
- It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives.
ii.“Right to Literacy” is a human right and a means for personal empowerment.
Events of ILD 2022:
i.Since 1967, UNESCO has awarded International Literacy Prizes to outstanding and innovative programmes that promote literacy.
ii.For the ILD 2022, UNESCO is conducting a two-day hybrid international event on 8 and 9 September 2022, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire at the global level.
- Various programmes and literacy practices will be announced through the 2022 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes award ceremony.
Award Ceremony of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2022:
The Prizes were awarded at an official ceremony on International Literacy Day held on 8 September 2022 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
i.The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (3 awards)
It was established in 1989, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea.
- It gives special consideration to mother language-based literacy development. Each of the three King Sejong prizewinners receives a medal, a diploma and USD 20,000
- ‘Native Scientist’ programme of Native Scientist, United Kingdom.
- ‘Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education’ programme of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences(KISS), India.
- ‘Madrasa Arabic lessons’ programme of Madrasa, United Arab Emirates
KISS(Bhubaneswar) wins prestigious UNESCO Literacy Prize 2022:
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha was awarded the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2022 for its outstanding literacy programme based on the recommendations of an international jury.
- KISS is the 5th institute from India and the 1st from Odisha to receive the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.
- It is also the 3rd among the non-profit NGOs and the 1st indigenous based organisation to be conferred with this award.
ii.The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy (3 awards)
It was established in 2005, with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
- It gives special consideration to functional literacy, leveraging technological environments, in support of adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth. Each of the three Confucius prize winners receives a medal, a diploma and USD 30,000.
- ‘Accessible Literature’ (Literatura Acessível) programme of Institute Include, Brazil.
- ‘People Accessible Network for Digital Empowerment and Inclusivity (PANDei)’ programme of Sarawak State Library, Malaysia.
- ‘School Readiness through Community Participation’ programme of The Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy, South Africa.
According to the Census of India, “person aged seven and above, who can both read and write with understanding in any language, is treated as literate”.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General- Audrey Azoulay