On 26 October, 1966, UNESCO proclaimed 8 September as International Literacy Day to combat worldwide issues of illiteracy. The purpose was not only to combat illiteracy but also to promote literacy as a tool that could empower individuals as well as whole communities.
International Literacy Day is observed on 8 September every year across the world to promote and support the development of literacy and skills, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people's lives.
International Literacy Day is to make people aware about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. It is necessary to raise the world's awareness of literary issues that are faced by people all over the world and also to endorse campaigns that help increase literacy for all people.
The main objective behind the celebration of this day to spread awareness towards literacy so that everyone can know their social and individual rights. As we require food to stay alive just in the same way education is necessary for social and personal development.
If we consider the immense increase in the rate of poverty, uncontrollable population growth, gender inequality etc then UNESCO has decided to celebrate the day so as to remove all such problems. Eradicating all such problems will not only help all the individuals to grow but also it will contribute to the overall growth and rise of the nation.
The day is celebrated internationally and this year, in 2019, there is a specific theme which goes like "Literacy and Multilingualism." The day is celebrated every year so as to spread awareness about the importance of literacy to individuals, societies, and communities. We know that with the progress still challenges about literacy persist. It is distributed unevenly across countries and populations.
Therefore, it is necessary to focus on the linguistic diversity in education and literacy development to overcome the challenges and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This day also focuses on the various skills and competencies required for employment, careers and livelihoods, particularly technical and vocational skills along with transferable and digital skills.
UNESCO has been central to improve literacy worldwide and that is why promotes International Literacy Day in partnership with governments, charities, local communities and experts in the field worldwide. By adopting various themes every year wants to turn attention on literacy in all its forms in a changing world. No doubt without literacy we can't make changes in the world and also can't improve our living being. According to UNESCO "Literacy is the best remedy" which is the key to the right for all to an education.
This day is celebrated to promote the human attention towards the literacy and know their rights for social and human development. As, food is important to be alive and success same literacy is also important. It is a necessary tool to eradicate poverty, lowering the child mortality, controlling the population growth, attaining the gender equality etc. It is correctly said that literacy has the ability to raise the family status. Therefore, this day is celebrated to encourage the people towards getting continuous education and understand their responsibility for the family, society and the country.
UNESCO continues to play a leading role in improving global literacy and promoting International Literacy Day with governments, communities etc. Through themes and several programmes, it aims to highlight the role of literacy and skills development in the context of a changing world. Without literacy, we would not be able to communicate with our loved ones. We would not be able to further our educations or go after what we want most in life. Literacy enables us to stand up for what we believe in.
When oppressed persons are illiterate, they have a small voice (if they have one at all). Literacy assures that people are aware of their rights in the first place so that they are able to assert them. Being able to both speak, write and read well are crucial in advocating human rights and ensuring equality for all. Though literacy is not the only way to get employment but it encourages people to know about their basic fundamental rights. All people should know what they actually deserve.
Due to this illiteracy, there are many people who face humiliation every day. Hence to make a better world and to make the use of community resources for gaining information from the local and school libraries the literacy should be of the utmost importance. Like all other countries of the world, Bangladesh also celebrated the International Literacy Day with great dazzlingly.
The writer is Research Officer,District Education Office, Secondary and Higher Education, Munshiganj
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