Today is International Literacy Day. It is marked worldwide on September 8 every year to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within our own local communities as well as globally.
International Literacy Day was founded by proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.” International Literacy Day brings ownership of the challenges of illiteracy back home to local communities where literacy begins, one person at a time.
Rapidly changing global context took a new meaning over the past years, hampering the progress of global literary efforts. In the aftermath of the pandemic, nearly 24 million learners might never return to formal education, out of which, 11 million are projected to be girls and young women. To ensure no one is left behind, we need to enrich and transform the existing learning spaces through an integrated approach and enable literacy learning in the perspective of lifelong learning.
This year’s International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide under the theme, Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces and will be an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.
At the global level, a two-day hybrid international event will be organized on 8 and 9 September 2022, in Côte d’Ivoire. The International Literacy Day global celebration lies at the heart of regional, country and local levels. As such, this year’s outstanding programmes and literacy practices will be announced through the 2022 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes award ceremony.
Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 771 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.
In 2021, 67.4 percent of people aged 15 years and above in Africa were able to read and write a simple statement and understand it.
In Sub-Saharan Africa,
• More than 1 in 3 adults cannot read.
• 182 million adults are unable to read and write.
• 48 million youth (ages 15-24) are illiterate.
• 22% of primary aged children are not in school.
• That makes 30 million primary aged children who are not in school.