World Literacy Day


“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope…”

                   –Kofi Annan (United Nations Secretary General)

        Every year on September 8th all around the world, “International Literacy Day” is observed. UNESCO declared September 8th to be the International Literacy Day on November 17th, 1965. This day is observed to raise the awareness of the value of education throughout the world. The main purpose of commemorating this day is to educate people from all walks of life and raise awareness about the value of education so that everyone is aware of it. The goal is to encourage all children around the world to attend school. In today’s world, everyone needs to be educated to make a living. International Literacy Day is highly significant in raising awareness about the importance of education in our lives.

           Aside from that, this day is observed to encourage and disseminate education throughout the world. Everyone who has been shut off from the mainstream of life owing to a lack of knowledge, who has been deprived and exploited by society, should be educated as well. The primary purpose of International Literacy Day is to educate all people, big and small. Those who have been denied education owing to financial restrictions or other issues at home must also be educated. To dispel the darkness of ignorance, we must set a goal of educating every citizen of the country, and the world at large. Only with continuing to work consistently will every citizen of the country be educated. And if this occurs, trust that any country in the world can become a developed nation. Educating people is the key to success at any kind of phenomena and it is only through education that any country can flourish at a rapid pace. The theme of the International Literacy Day 2023 is “Promoting literacy for a world in transition”: Laying the groundwork for sustainable and peaceful societies. The theme offers an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable and inclusive education for all. On this day, many institutions, schools and colleges host cultural events in which teachers, special guests and students take part. Teachers provide children with critical information and speeches about the significance of the International Literacy Day. Writing, lectures, painting, song and dance competitions, poetry are held in schools and universities. Prizes are also awarded to the competition’s winning party. Government or non-government organizations contribute copies, books and other necessary items for children’s education. Some organizations build new schools so that impoverished children can receive free education and receive assistance with their studies. On this day government also recognizes such institutions. This international observance day serves as a global reminder and communication of the critical significance of literacy as a fundamental human right. This day aims to promote the literacy efforts and contribute to the development of more enlightened and sustainable societies. Several activities can be conducted for the students to celebrate the International Literacy Day such as writing a reflective journal, exploring writing online, pass the book, compare the book to the movie, writing a letter or poem, visiting a library and talking to a published author.  It’s a perfect opportunity to spend extra time engaging students and motivating them to elevate their reading, writing and listening skills. Many students have fallen behind in their education due to the pandemic. Many of today’s toddlers will have reduced opportunities to form language and reading skills at a key moment in their development. The ramifications will continue for years if we don’t actively work at the improvement of basic skills. The challenge of poor literacy therefore remains and has perhaps become more of an issue again. Across the globe, it is thought that more than 770 million adults cannot read, out of which most of them are women. Opening a community library, donating books to a rural underdeveloped schools, spread the awareness about the importance of education are some of the ways to improve literacy of any citizen of a country and the nation at large.

             Literacy is one of the greatest gifts a person could receive. It is an essential instrument for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, regulating population increase, achieving gender equality, and so on. Literacy, it is true, has the capacity to improve family status. As a result, this day is observed to urge individuals to continue their education and to recognize their responsibilities to their family, society, and nation. It is a human right to be literate which will affect our duties and responsibilities and so, is really very significant to attain. Having the skills to communicate, read, and write is vital for social and economic development. It allows individuals to expand their knowledge and understanding of the society. Literacy is not simply the ability to read and write, but rather the ability to use these skills and communicate effectively for one’s own development and thereby the development of others. A true literate human does not try to show off their education, skills, and knowledge, but instead tries to help others get literate as well.

 “To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education- literacy both verbal and numerical, and communication skills.” – Alan Greenspan

By Manandhi De Silva Jayasinghe


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