9/8/2011 9:24 PM
September 8th is International Literacy Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about illiteracy and promoting literacy for all.
According to UNESCO, one in five adults do not know how to read or write, and 67.4 million children lack access to basic education. UNESCO and other literacy-based organizations hope to address the world’s illiteracy problem by raising awareness about the issue and working to boost literacy rates around the globe.
“The world urgently needs increased political commitment to literacy backed by adequate resources to scale up effective programs,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a release. “Today I urge governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to make literacy a policy priority, so that every individual can develop their potential, and actively participate in shaping more sustainable, just, and peaceful societies.”
“Literacy for Peace” is the theme of this year’s International Literacy Day and today 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. UNESCO and the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) are also hosting an awareness walk in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Want to know how you can help combat illiteracy at home or abroad? Visit the International Reading Association (IRA) website to learn how you can become a member and “promote reading by continuously advancing the quality of literacy instruction and research worldwide.”