POST TIME: 9 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

The International Literacy Day was observed in Bangladesh yesterday.  Every year, the day is observed on September 8 throughout the world, including Bangladesh, to highlight the importance of education and to promote the literacy rate. Every year, many events are organized where the government high ups pledge to promote literacy rate and enroll every child in the school.

An abundance of research has documented beyond argument that higher rates of education in any given country or region are directly related to increased prosperity, human achievement and fulfilment. As the world marked the International Literacy Day, designated as such by Unesco in 1966, it is worth pondering how, let alone achieving education for all, mankind is not even near the underpinning requirement of universal literacy. As such, literacy is a key component of the UN’s SDGs and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indeed, SDG 4 specifically includes amongst its targets the access of young people to literacy and numeracy, and focuses on related opportunities being made available to adults who lack these vital skills. This year’s theme is ‘literacy and skills development’ for, as the UN notes, challenges in this regard persist across the world in an environment when work-required skills are also evolving rapidly. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society” Over the past several decades, global literacy rates have significantly increased. The main reasons for such an upward trend stems from the evolution of the educational systems of many developing countries, and an increased acknowledgement of the importance of education to these societies in their respective entireties.  Everyone should be able to make the most of the benefits of the new digital age, for human rights, for dialogue and exchange, for more sustainable development. For that all concerned with education are to engage in concerted efforts. There may be gap and controversies about the percentage of literacy and orientation.   

Thankfully Bangladesh now enjoys an all-time high literacy rate of about 73 per cent. The current figure marks an increase of 26.24 percentage points from 2007, when Bangladesh's literacy rate stood at 46.66 per cent. The literacy rate is going up gradually with the multifaceted programmes adopted by the government that handed out more than 354 million free books to 43 million primary and middle school students in January.