International Literacy Day 2020: Know the significance, history and theme of the globally celebrated day

The theme of International Literacy Day 2020 is ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’ which specifically focuses on the role of educators and changing pedagogies.

Created On: Sep 8, 2020 14:21 IST
International Literacy Day 2020
International Literacy Day 2020

International Literacy Day 2020: Literacy Day is being celebrated all over the world on September 8, 2020, to promote and remind the international community of the significance of literacy for the societies, communities, and individuals.

This year, the Literacy Day aims at focusing on the teaching and learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and on the essential role of the educators amid the crisis.

The first-ever International Literacy Day was declared at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference and since then it has been celebrated annually on September 8 to highlight the role of literacy around the world.

International Literacy Day 2020: Significance

International Literacy Day is celebrated every year across the world to combat the problem of literacy and to ensure that quality education is provided to all.

Literacy Day aims at raising public consciousness and disseminate information on literacy to make people aware of its significance for an individual and for the development of the nation.

International Literacy Day 2020: Theme

The theme of International Literacy Day 2020 is ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’ which specifically focuses on the role of educators and changing pedagogies.

The theme of Literacy Day highlights literacy learning from a life-long learning perspective and therefore mainly focuses on the adults and youth.

During the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis in many countries, adult literacy programmes have been absent in the initial education response plans, so most of the adult literacy programmes that existed were suspended, which just a few courses continuing virtually, through radio or TV or in an open air space.  

International Literacy Day 2020 provides an opportunity of exploring the impact of COVID-19crisis on youth and teaching and learning and adult literacy educators. It gives the world a chance to reflect on and discuss how effective and innovative pedagogies and teaching methodologies can be used in an adult and youth literacy programme to face the pandemic and beyond.

Online Events on International Literacy Day 2020:

The International Literacy Day 2020 will be celebrated virtually and is composed of two virtual meetings. Those interested can register themselves, as these meetings will be accessible through Zoom.

Virtual Meeting on ‘Literacy Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: the role of educators and the changing pedagogies’

Virtual meeting on the Laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2020.

Literacy: A Persisting Challenge

Literacy as a challenge still continues, despite the progress made, with at least 773 million adults worldwide lacking the basic literacy skills today.

As per UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2006), South Asia has the lowest region adult literacy rate at 58.6%. The causes of this range of illiteracy in the region ranges from severe poverty and the existing prejudice against women.

International Literacy Day: Background

UNESCO in 1966 had proclaimed September 8 as International Literacy Day to remind the international community of the significance of literacy for the communities, individuals, and societies along with a need for intensified efforts towards the more literate societies.

In September 2015, the world leaders adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda which promotes universal access to quality education and learning opportunities through the individual’s life.

Sustainable Development Goal 4has one of its targets that ensures that all the young people achieve literacy and those adults who lack these skills are provided with an opportunity to acquire them.

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