International Literacy Day 2020 is an occasion to reexamine different methods to literacy teaching and learning, and the vital role that educators play in boosting quality literacy programs with a focus on youth and adult literacy. The readers would know the questions that ILD2020 will also discover reimagined education and learning the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Theme: Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond

International Literacy Day 2020 Highlights

  • Since 1967, the community observes International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8
  • ILD aims to encourage literacy for self-respect and human rights and to improve the literacy level
  • This year’s theme is ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’
  • (ILD) 2020 is an occasion to reexamine different methods of literacy teaching and learning
  • Covid-19 affected the education of more than 90 percent of 1.6 billion students globally
  • Corona crisis has exposed the unpreparedness of the system
  • Need to motivate educators
  • Need to reimagining efficient teaching and learning
  • Need to look beyond the COVID-19 era
  • Need to apply a professional approach
  • Enlightened Saint can fulfill the soul’s thirst

What is International Literacy Day?

Since 1967, the global community observes the International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8. ILD aims to encourage literacy for self-respect and human rights and to improve the literacy agenda towards a higher literate and sustainable society.

International Literacy Day is an occasion for governments, communities, and civil society to take stock and celebrate literacy. ILD also permits to reflect on literacy challenges in the coming time. Literacy is a crucial piece of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 Theme

In the coronavirus outbreaks situation this year, the International Literacy Day (ILD) devotes to the theme of ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’. The focus will be on the role of educators and changing pedagogies to address issues:

  • The level of literacy teaching and learning, as well as educators, been affected by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Practical teaching approaches that should be maintained or expanded
  • The appropriate measure of teaching and learning for youth and adult literacy be reimagined in times of COVID-19 and beyond

Significance of International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020

International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 is an occasion to reexamine different methods to literacy teaching and learning, and the vital role that educators play in boosting quality literacy programs with a particular focus on youth and adult literacy. Learning lessons from preliminary answers to the COVID-19 crisis and the wealth of knowledge gathered across the world, ILD2020 will also discover the futures of literacy teaching and learning, as well as the educators’ part in attaining the reimagined education and learning the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

International Literacy Day 2020: Context

The world has witnessed substantial growth in literacy in the last ten-year time span. Yet worldwide, more than 770 million adults and youth did not get access to primary literacy opportunities. Even more than 600 million children and adolescents did not accomplish proficiency levels in mathematics and reading. The coronavirus outbreaks proved to raise a threat to schooling and to learn for youth and adults with low literacy skills.

How has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Literacy?

The Covid-19 pandemic affected the education of more than 90 percent of 1.6 billion students’ density globally. The situation worsened as in the early phase of coronavirus outbreaks, and the schools were closed in more than 190 countries affecting more than 60 million primary and secondary teachers. Many schools worldwide, privately or with the intervention of governments, have quickly implemented distance-learning systems on exceptional size, especially in formal education for children and youth.

The schools’ management was prompt to arrange various tools and facilities, including virtual lessons, dissemination of materials, and learning provision through smartphones, TV, radio, and distributing photocopied material. In limited resources, the schools conducted online classes, tests, marking, and counseling the students.

How did the Corona Crisis has Exposed the Unpreparedness?

The Corona crisis has exposed the governments, policymakers, education departments, school management, parents, and the students for a casual approach towards poor infrastructure, education systems, and programs. Similarly, the related sector that deals with adults and youth literacy and education has affected and remains exposed. The adult literacy programs were absent or did exist on a small level have now been suspended in the post COVID scenario in many countries.

This development implies that the young and youth with no or low literacy skills will face manifold difficulties in gaining access to survival information and remote learning prospects that darkens their chances of livelihoods.

International Literacy Day 2020: Digital Divide will Impact Non-Literate Adults

International Literacy Day 2020: Around half of the world’s population, including many non-literate adults, do not have access to the Internet. More than 65 percent of people in low human development countries have access to mobile phones as compared to 92 percent in middle and 110 percent in high human development countries. From the above described digital divide, it is evident that the vast number of non-literate youth and adults would face hard hit due to COVID pandemic social and economic impacts.

Therefore, it can be concluded that coronavirus outbreaks have widened the gap between adult literacy policy discourse and pre-COVID ground reality. It becomes essential to take care of youth and adult literacy in the recovery and resilience-building phase.

International Literacy Day 2020: Main Issues to be Addressed

Following are the main issues to be addressed on Literacy Day:

Need to Motivate Educators

Educators are the backbone of promoting quality lifelong learning. The youth and adult literacy programs can become successful and lead to better learning and development outcomes provided the educators are motivated, trained adequately and consistently, guaranteed decent working conditions, satisfactorily remunerated, and provided career prospects.

Need to Reimagine Efficient Teaching And Learning

The policymakers, practitioners, and development partners have learned some important lessons, particularly in the context of formal education, such as the potential of distance learning offered by digital and other types of technologies, and the value of face-to-face interactions between educators and learners in initial COVID time. Educators have an essential responsibility to take part in understanding lessons from the COVID-19 crisis and reimagining efficient teaching and learning. The educators can play a catalytic function in creating the transformative power of literacy for people’s empowerment, social transformation, and the betterment of humanity and the planet.

Need to Look Beyond the COVID-19 Era

Apart from the COVID-19 era, let us look beyond to find a range of issues that prevented literacy teaching and learning and effectiveness of the educators. At the system level, a significant challenge is a shortage and uneven distribution of educators, especially in non-formal settings and disadvantaged areas. Another severe challenge concerns the limited capacities of some educators. For instance, in many places, a secondary level of education or an even lower level is a sufficient qualification for adult literacy educators. Some program relies on volunteers with insufficient teaching skills.

Need to Apply Professional Approach

In addition to the above challenges, there is a need to ensure a ‘professional development continuum’ that supports literacy educators through pre-service training, in-service training, and continuous support, while ensuring coherence between these. Such a continuum can support educators in developing their identities as professionals and pursuing continued learning throughout their careers.

Satlok Ashram

It can empower them to adapt more quickly to unforeseen demands and challenges as the world changes. Few other points to reconsider are the abilities and flexibility to handle distance teaching and to reassess the salary of educators and career prospects to reduce the excessive turnover of literacy educators.

ILD Should Assess Spiritual Literacy as Food for Soul

Literacy helps in livelihood, self-respect, and human rights. What about the food of the soul? The soul feels hunger for the knowledge of The Absolute. Only an enlightened saint can fulfill the soul’s appetite through his sermons and initiation. The people should consider approaching the Enlightened Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj and complete the journey of the soul to its original home, the Eternal Abode Satlok.

International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 Quotes

  • “The teachers try to help students to spend their days having an aim”
  • “Internet is linked to explore knowledge and an authentic way to live life rather than waiting for something to happen”
  • “ILD 2020 commits to help bringing education systems to improved quality standards compatible with the post-COVID reality”
  • “Like food is needed for the body, God’s Sermons needed for the soul~Saint Rampal JI”
  • “Soul remains always thirsty for the Knowledge of the Virtues of God~Saint Rampal JI”