International Literacy Day is being celebrated today i.e. 8th of September 2017. The theme decided for this year's International literacy day is 'Literacy in a digital world'. The aim of literacy day is to highlight the importance of education to individuals, communities and societies. The International Literacy Day is celebrated across many countries.
In 1967, the first Literacy Day was celebrated and this has been held every year for 50 years. While the UNESCO has noted positive trends of growing literacy rates among children, the same cannot be said about the adult population.
On the 7th and 8th September, 2017, a special two day event is conducted at UNESCO's Headquarters in Paris, with the overall aim to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly digitally-mediated societies, and to explore effective literacy policies and programs that can pull the opportunities that the digital world provides. The International Literacy Prizes ceremony will be held at UNESCO. It is done to recognize and reward excellent literacy practices from around the world in connection with this year's theme.
At record speed, digital technologies are fundamentally changing the way people live, work, learn and socialize everywhere. The society is providing new possibilities for people to improve all areas of their lives including access to information knowledge management networking social services industrial production, and mode of work. But for those who require access to digital technologies and knowledge, skills and capabilities are required to operate them and they can end up more analyzed in increasingly digitally driven societies. Literacy is one such essential skill.
Skills and competencies arise in the digital world, so does what it means to be literate. To lower down the literacy skills gap and inequalities, this year's International Literacy Day will highlight the challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world, a world where despite progress, at least 700 million adults and 200 million out-of-school children still lack basic literacy skills.
International Literacy Day is celebrated every year globally which brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, communities, teachers, learners and experts in the field. Literacy Day is a day to address achievements and reflect on ways to counter remaining challenges for the promotion of literacy as an integral part of lifelong learning within and beyond the 2030 Education Agenda.
The 50 year studies showed that that South Asia (which includes Bangladesh, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal and Pakistan) has the large scale illiteracy is ever-present among adults.
The studies showed that there were about 44 million illiterate young people in 2015 and this will persist "for decades" due to extreme poverty and political conflict. But, Southern Asia has made considerable progress since 1990 and the regional youth literacy rate has seen a rise from 60 per cent in 1990 to almost 90 per cent in 2015.
In India, the adult literacy rate has increased by merely 18.4 per cent in 15 years. It was 61 per cent in 2000 and 72 per cent in 2015. Nepal and Pakistan have seen the most growth among South Asian nations with 33 and 32 per cent increase in adult literacy during the same period, closely followed by Bangladesh at 29 per cent.