International Literacy Day 2021: September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.
For International Literacy Day 2021, UNESCO said, “International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 will explore how literacy can contribute to building a solid foundation for a human-centered recovery, with a special focus on the interplay of literacy and digital skills required by non-literate youth and adults. It will also explore what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful to leave no one behind. By doing so, ILD2021 will be an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, within and beyond the context of the pandemic.”
The first International Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967 and this tradition has been held annually for more than 50 years now.
“The need for the real emancipation of people and for the increasingly active and productive participation, in the economic, social and political life of human society, of the hundreds of millions of illiterate adults still existing in the world, make it essential to change national education policies,” the final report of the 1966 conference stated.
Literacy goals are a key part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDG agenda contains 17 goals and 169 targets, adopted in 2015 to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted in 2000. The SDGs are meant to be achieved by 2030, and the UN Resolution of which they are a part is called “The 2030 Agenda”.
In India, as per the last census in 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate, an increase of 9.2 per cent from the last decade (2001-11). The country will take another 50 years to achieve universal literacy, which is 2060, as per UNESCO.