What is International Literacy Day?
International Literacy Day is a day that serves to remind the world of the importance of literacy and also to raise awareness of one of the biggest problems in the world, illiteracy. It was formulated by Ministers of Education worldwide and is observed annually with utmost sincerity as it addresses some of the world's burning issues.
History of International Literacy Day
In 1965, Tehran (The capital of Iran) held a conference, where Education Ministers from around the world were invited. It was known as the World Conference of Ministers of Education. There, the idea and concept of International Literacy Day were formulated.
Later in 1966, UNESCO got involved and decided to take the responsibility on its shoulders. They decided to spread the message of their initiative and marked 8th September as international literacy day. UNESCO’s motive was to bring the importance of literacy into the light so that people worldwide would recognize and realize it and work towards achieving it.
Their primary objective was not only to reduce illiteracy but also to use literacy to empower people worldwide.
How to Celebrate International Literacy Day?
People celebrate International Literacy Day in many ways, but regardless of how they celebrate, there is a common element in all of those methods: books. Reading books is the best and most effective way of gaining knowledge. There is no doubt about that. So all celebratory activities are related to books and reading books. Here are some of the most common International Literacy Day activities.
1. Starting a Book Club
One of the best ways to develop the habit of reading books is by forming a book club. A book club is a gathering of people who share a common interest and read books related to that common interest together. They not only read together, but they engage in discussions and debates regarding that topic. They partake in in-depth conversations surrounding that topic. They also have a wide range of snacks while reading those books, making the entire experience more casual and friendly. It's always fun to discuss your interests with another person over some snacks and tea on a rainy afternoon.
2. Trivia Games
Hosting and playing trivia games can be fun to celebrate this day. Games like Pictionary, Scrabble, and Wordle are not only fun and competitive but, at the same time, are also informative and educational. These games increase and expand a person's vocabulary and promote learning. As people of any age range can play these games, they are perfect options to play with your family and friends.
3. Getting a Library Membership
Applying for a library membership is another way you can spend this holiday. There is no better way of learning than books. Call it old-fashioned or dull, but there is something about reading paper books that all these fancy gadgets can't beat. Reading paper books is a tried and true and one of the most effective means of learning. So like getting gym memberships as a New Year's resolution, let's make the tradition of visiting libraries on this day and getting memberships. But please don't stop using that library membership as people do with gym memberships. On the other hand, libraries can offer special discounts and privileges to individuals who usually can't afford a membership.
4. Conventions and Workshops
Conventions and workshops are a great way of educating and inspiring people. Experienced individuals and professionals may hold these workshops to influence people and, simultaneously, be a beacon of hope and guide others. People who are experts in their respective fields may take this opportunity to guide and influence younger generations who share the same interest. It will not only act as encouragement for the youngsters but also show them the possibilities and opportunities ahead of them.
5. Donating Books
Donating books or simply giving away books or exchanging them with others can be a fun activity for this day. It is straightforward to do. Collect all the books you don't need, then reach out to your family and friends and collect their unwanted books. Now you have a few options you can:
- Sell these off at a discounted price
- Give them away for free
- Trade with other readers
- Donate them to your local library
It will promote book reading and encourage other people not to leave books untouched because a book that isn't being read is simply a wasted learning opportunity.
Which Countries Observe International Literacy Day? Why?
International literacy day is observed worldwide as a global problem and one of the biggest problems people face worldwide, especially in developing countries.
Even though the right to education is one of the most fundamental human rights, many individuals are denied the privilege of studying. In contrast, others are compelled to drop out. Despite the progress in primary education, most developing and underprivileged countries still suffer severely from illiteracy.
Other factors influencing educational enrolment and dropout rates include population, socioeconomic level, gender inequality, poverty, corruption, and emigration. Consequently, a sizable proportion of the world's adult and adolescent population has difficulties reading, writing, and comprehending current events.
Literacy is vital for both individual and societal development. It allows us to nurture the ability to learn previously unknown ideas and concepts and gain a wide array of skills, which are significant in raising our quality of life and how we live it. Literacy directly impacts a person's health and income, as well as their potential to create jobs, improve the nation's economy, and inspire the concept of equality.
Furthermore, it enables individuals to boost their self-esteem, attain self-confidence, and seek to improve their overall quality of life. These are some of the most critical aspects contributing to the importance of Literacy Day and explain why it is observed worldwide every year.
Interesting Facts about International Literacy Day?
- Almost 771 million people worldwide are illiterate, and America alone holds the record of 32 million.
- UNESCO gives the International Literacy Prize to those who hold remarkable contributions to eradicating illiteracy.
- The official event is a hybrid. People observe this event for two days, both the 8th and 9th of September.
Much like food, water, and shelter, education is also one of the basic needs of humans. Every human being in this world should have access to primary education, at the very least. Education is necessary not for earning a livelihood but also to survive. The world is becoming more technology depended as days go by. Tech is being implemented in all aspects of life. So primary education is crucial here because, without it, people will struggle to exist in this fast-paced world. We should all pitch in and do whatever we can to promote and spread the gift of education to those who can't afford or access it.
International Literacy Day Observances
|2021||Wednesday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
|2022||Thursday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
|2023||Friday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
|2024||Sunday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
|2025||Monday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
|2026||Tuesday||08 September||International Literacy Day|
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