International Literacy Day 2020: To remind people of the world the importance of literacy, World Literacy Day is observed every year on September 8. Literacy helps people live with dignity and makes them self-sufficient. This year, Literacy Day assumes even more significance amid the COVID-19 crisis. The mode and focus of learning change as virtual classrooms replace the usual ones and online interactions take the place of face to face discussions. Also literacy missions across the world have suffered a setback as reaching out to millions of children in poorer countries becomes tough online, say experts. International Literacy Day is a United Nations designated day.
International Literacy Day 2020: Theme, focus and history
According to the UNESCO, (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation): “International Literacy Day 2020 will focus on Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond with a focus on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme will highlight literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective and therefore mainly focus on youth and adults.”
International Literacy Day has been observed since 1967, but despite the progress made, literacy remains a challenge with “at least 773 million adults worldwide lacking basic literacy skills”, according to a UN body.
Nearly 773 million adults & young people worldwide lack literacy skills, & are unable to access life-saving information during #COVID19.
— United Nations (@UN) September 8, 2020
International Literacy Day 2020: Key issues
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, children and adult literacy programmes in many places had to be stopped abruptly due to the lockdown. Various UN organisations, which carry out literacy programmes across the world are exploring key issues like:
- “What is the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on youth and adult literacy educators and teaching and learning?”
- “What are the lessons learnt?”
- “How can we effectively position youth and adult literacy learning in global and national responses and in strategies for the recovery and resilience-building phase?”
International Literacy Day 2020: Who said what
The Ministry of Education posted a quote of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wrote, “…we promise to work towards achieving 100% literacy…”.
“There can be no joy greater than reading and no friend greater than knowledge” Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi
On this #InternationalLiteracyDay, we promise to work towards achieving 100% literacy by complying with the reforms within the #NationalEducationPolicy2020. #ShikshakParvpic.twitter.com/9A0D7euVyl
— Ministry of Education (@EduMinOfIndia) September 8, 2020
“From a mere literacy mission, education should be about ensuring quality learning.”
— Mann Ki Baat Updates (@mannkibaat) September 8, 2020