International Literacy Day theme is "The Power of Literacy." 

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Sir Richard Steele.

 
International Literacy Day theme is The Power of LiteracySeptember 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance ofliteracy to individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Celebrations take place around the world.

Some 776 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.

According to UNESCO’s "Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2008)",[2][3] South and West Asia has the lowest regional adult literacy rate (58.6%), followed by sub-Saharan Africa (59.7%), and the Arab States (62.7%). Countries with the lowest literacy rates in the world are Burkina Faso (12.8%), Niger (14.4%) and Mali(19%). The report shows a clear connection between illiteracy and countries in severe poverty, and between illiteracy and prejudice against women.

The celebration's theme for 2007 and 2008 was “Literacy and Health”. This was also the thematic emphasis of the 2007-2008 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.[4] In particular, International Literacy Day 2008 had a strong emphasis on Literacy and Epidemics with a focus on communicable diseases such as HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, some of the world's forefront public health concerns.

To raise public awareness of the extraordinary value of the written word and of the necessity to promote a literate society, the following writers are supporting UNESCO through the Writers for Literacy Initiative [5]: Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Philippe Claudel, Paulo Coelho, Philippe Delerm, Fatou Diome, Chahdortt Djavann, Nadine Gordimer, Amitav Ghosh, Marc Levy, Alberto Manguel, Anna Moi, Scott Momaday, Toni Morrison, Erik Orsenna, Gisèle Pineau, El Tayeb Salih, Francisco Jose Sionil,Wole Soyinka, Amy Tan, Miklós Vámos, Abdourahman Waberi, Wei Wei, Banana Yoshimoto. Not only writers contribute to raising awareness to the problem of illiteracy. Next to the writers engagement, there are various companies and charity organizations that support the fight against illiteracy. Some supporters of International Literacy Day include the Global Development Research Center, Montblanc, the National Institute for Literacy, and Rotary International. Mohammad Abdul Rub, an Indian Child writer celebrates his birthday on this day. World Litreacy Day also signifys the recognition of the country to strive towards total and complete litreacy for the nation.



International Literacy Day theme is "The Power of Literacy." It means this year the focus will be on the empowerment of literacy and its importance for participation, social progress and citizenship. Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the year 2009-2011 of the United Nations Literacy Decade has been accepted.

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.

Alarming Statistics

Despite many and multifarious efforts, the literacy rate across the world looks alarming. According to UN analysis there are close to four billion literate people world wide and some 776 million people lack minimum literacy skills, that mean one in five adults are yet to literate; 75 million children did not attend school and many more attend irregularly or are drop outs. Almost 35 countries have a literacy rate of less than 50% and a population of more than 10 million people who are illiterate. 85% percent of the world's illiterate population dwells in these countries, and two-thirds are fairer sex.

Total Literacy Requires Collective Efforts
Besides some customary bottlenecks have being observed in some under developed countries like population blast, lack of proper infrastructure and other factors, the grave backlash of the present economic crunch has also cut down the pace of the total literacy drive.

According to the UN, it calls for a combine parallel efforts, sufficient resources and endeavor, strategies, and continued analysis of the developmental work revised political will and for accepting to do things differently at all levels - locally, nationally and trans-nationally.

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:

  • Education for all
  • Millennium development targets
  • United Nations literacy decade and
  • 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 far fetched 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 far fetched 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.

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