International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

September 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 of literacy 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 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 72.1 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 (2006)" [] [] , 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 is “Literacy and Health”. This is also the thematic emphasis of the 2007-2008 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade [] . In particular, International Literacy Day 2008 has a strong emphasis on Literacy and Epidemics with a focus on communicable diseases such as HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, some of the world's most important 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 [] : 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, Miklos Vamos, Abdourahman Waberi, Wei Wei, Banana Yoshimoto.

UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy

The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was established in 2005 through the generosity of the Government of the People’s Republic of China in honour of the great Chinese scholar Confucius. The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy recognizes the activities of outstanding individuals, governments or governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in literacy serving rural adults and out-of-school youth, particularly women and girls. Each of the Prizes consists of US$20,000, a medal and a diploma. Furthermore, the Confucius Prize offers a study visit to literacy project sites in China.

UNESCO International Reading Association Literacy Prize

The UNESCO International Reading Association Literacy Prize was founded in 1979. The Prize rewards the services of institutions, organizations or individuals displaying outstanding merit and achieving particularly effective results in the fight for literacy. It also raises public awareness for literacy programmes already in progress. The Prize is funded by the [International Reading Association (IRA)] [] , an international non-governmental organization which maintains official relations with UNESCO. It consists of a sum of US$20,000, a silver medal and a certificate for the prizewinner.

UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was created in 1989 through the generosity of the Government of the Republic of Korea.The Prize honours the outstanding contribution made to literacy over 500 years ago by King Sejong, who created the native Korean alphabet 'Hangul' which is still a valuable model and reference for the world today. The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize rewards the activities of governments or governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) displaying merit and achieving particularly effective results in contributing to the promotion of literacy. It gives special consideration to the creation, development and dissemination of mother-tongue languages in developing countries.

ee also

*List of countries by literacy rate


External links

* [ International Literacy Day] official site
* [ UNESCO's Literacy Portal]
* [,,365747,00.html Gestures not enough to teach the world] , by Larry Elliott and Victoria Brittain, September 8, 2000, The Guardian

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Literacy in India — is an indispensable means for effective social and economic participation, contributing to human development and poverty reduction, says UNESCO. [ URL ID=40338 URL DO=DO TOPIC URL SECTION=201.html] The… …   Wikipedia

  • International observance — This is not a list of National Days, commemorative days, or days which have some significance in one or a very small number of countries. International observance (also known as international dedication or international anniversary) denotes a… …   Wikipedia

  • Literacy — Global adult literacy according to the CIA Factbook …   Wikipedia

  • literacy —    Protestantism emerged as a religion of the book; the Bible was to be read and absorbed by every Christian. During the 16th century, a benchmark of the success of Protestantism in any country was the translation of the Bible into its spoken… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • International Mother Language Day — Shaheed Minar, or the Martyr s monument, located at Dhaka University Campus, Bangladesh, commemorates the sacrifice for Bangla Language on 21 February 1952 International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide… …   Wikipedia

  • International School of the Sacred Heart — Infobox School name = International School of the Sacred Heart (ISSH) image image size = accreditation = WASC CIS established = 1908 type = Private grades = K 12 headteacher = Yvonne Hayes free label = Principal of Kindergarten/Junior School free …   Wikipedia

  • International Labour Organization — ILO redirects here. For other uses, see ILO (disambiguation). International Labour Organization Organisation internationale du Travail Organización Internacional del Trabajo …   Wikipedia

  • International development — For other forms of development, see development (disambiguation). These key indicators of human well being have all improved since 1970. International development or global development[1] is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition …   Wikipedia

  • International Association for Human Values — The International Association of Human Values (IAHV), a non profit organisation founded in Geneva in 1997 develops and promotes programs of personal development to encourage the practice of human values in everyday life. It also has programs of… …   Wikipedia

  • Media literacy — is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms. Contents 1 Education 2 History 2.1 United Kingdom 2.2 Australia …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.