International Literacy Day

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ‘s (UNESCO) International Literacy Day is celebrated around the world on September 8 every year. Literacy challenges persist despite the progress we have made. The demands for skills required for work also evolve rapidly.

September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on October 26, 1966. The day is to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies as well as the need to intensify efforts toward more literate societies. UNESCO defined a literate person as 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.

The International Literacy Day was first celebrated in 1967. The celebration of the International Literacy Day have included specific themes, in line with Education for All goals and other United Nation’s programmes. Education for All is a global movement led by UNESCO, aiming at meeting the learning needs of all children and adults by 2015. The programme targeted to reduce adult illiteracy rate by 50 percent between 2000 and 2015. Nevertheless, the goals set by the Education for All were not able to be met by all the countries.