Last Updated on 6 September 2023 IST | International Literacy Day 2023 | The changed scenario worldwide has hampered the progress of global literary efforts miserably. Post coronavirus pandemic,the estimation is that around 24 million learners will not have access to formal education. Out of the total estimate,11 million girls and young women will lose opportunity. The target will be that no one is left behind. To achieve so, the approach will require a change. The existing learning spaces through an integrated approach will be needed. It will also require literacy learning in the perspective of lifelong learning.
Theme: “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies”
International Literacy Day 2023 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 “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies”
- (ILD) 2023 is an occasion to re-examine 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
- Enlightened Saint can fulfill the soul’s thirst of learning
What is International Literacy Day?
Since 1967,the global community has observed 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 literacy and sustainable society.
International Literacy Day is an occasion for governments, communities, and civil society to take stock and celebrate literacy. ILD also permits reflection 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) 2023 Theme
In the year 2023 the International Literacy Day will be commemorated globally under the theme, “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies” The Day will give a chance to reassess the underlying significance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.
Worldwide, the International Day will be organized as a two-day hybrid event on 8 and 9 September 2023, in Côte d’Ivoire. The International Literacy Day will be commemorated worldwide at regional, country and local levels. Detailed programs and literacy practices will be announced during the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes award ceremony in 2023.
Significance of International Literacy Day (ILD) 2023
International Literacy Day (ILD) 2023 is an occasion to re-examine 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, ILD2023 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 2023: 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 learning 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 of 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 Expose 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 that 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 darken their chances of livelihoods.
International Literacy Day 2023: Digital Divide will Impact Non-Literate Adults
International Literacy Day 2023: 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.
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 programs rely 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.
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) 2023 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 2023 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”
FAQ About International Literacy Day (ILD)
Ans: ILD aims to encourage literacy for self-respect and human rights and to improve the literacy agenda towards a higher literacy and sustainable society.
Ans: Since 1967,the global community has observed the International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8.
Ans: In the year 2023 the International Literacy Day will be commemorated globally under the theme, “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies”
Ans: Post coronavirus pandemic, the estimation is that around 24 million learners will not have access to formal education. Out of the total estimate,11 million girls and young women will lose opportunity.