International Literacy Day 2019: Its origin, why is it celebrated and this year's theme to create awareness

  • Every year International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8 September globally to raise awareness and remind people of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights

  • UNESCO at its General Conference on 26 October in 1966 declared 8 September to be the International Literacy Day

  • The theme of International Literacy Day 2019, is to focus on Literacy and Multilingualism

 International Literacy Day 2019: Every year International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8 September globally to raise awareness and remind people of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. UNESCO declared this day as an opportunity for governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s persisting literacy challenges.

 International Literacy Day 2019: Its origin, why is it celebrated and this years theme to create awareness

World Literacy Day is celebrated on 8 September every year globally. Getty images

History

At the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on 26 October in 1966, 8 September was declared as International Literacy Day. Since 1967, celebrations have taken place annually around the world on this day to spread awareness about the importance of the literacy to individuals, society, and communities.

Why we celebrate Literacy Day

One of the top reasons to celebrate the International Literacy Day is to encourage awareness towards literacy so that people from around the globe can know their social and individual rights.

Literacy is considered to be a necessity for social and personal development.

With an aim to focus on eradication of increased rate of poverty, uncontrollable population growth, gender inequality, etc. UNESCO has decided to dedicate this day to remove these problems.

Eliminating the persisting issues will not only help individuals to grow, but also contribute to the overall growth and upliftment of the nation and world.

 2019 Theme: Literacy and multilingualism

The theme of International Literacy Day 2019, is to focus on 'Literacy and Multilingualism.’ As per UNESCO, despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations and embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

On this occassion, UNESCO director-general  Audrey Azoulay said, "Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is therefore a key part of developing inclusive societies that respect “diversity” and “difference”, upholding human dignity."

Updated Date: Sep 08, 2019 12:59:40 IST