Saturday, September 5, 2015

Schools : International Literacy Day 2015

"New technologies, including mobile telephones, also offer fresh opportunities for literacy for all. We must invest more, and I appeal to all Members States and all our partners to redouble our efforts – political and financial – to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development. The future starts with the alphabet."  
Irina Bokova,
UNESCO Director-General

For over 40 years now, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning. 

The theme of International Literacy Day 2015 is: Literacy and Sustainable Societies

Literacy is a key driver for sustainable development. Literacy skills are the prerequisite for the learning of a broader set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, required for creating sustainable societies. 

UNESCO wishes to use this day to draw attention to the importance of reading, writing and language. Every year World Literacy Day launched Literacy Week, during which many organisations run self-motivated activities that focus on literacy – in a concerted effort to counter illiteracy.


Literacy is a basic human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. 

59% of the world’s youth illiterate population are female.
Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all.

Activites : some ideas:
  • Use any increased flexibility offered in the curriculum to respond to issues as they arise.
  • Provide space for teachers and students to discuss and reflect on these issues.
  • Pupils get a lot of their information about global issues from the media so help them to interrogate this information critically and consider a range of perspectives.
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.
Ideas + :
Whether it’s reading or writing, literacy is an outlet to an untouchable world – our imagination. 

  • Host a friendly reading challenge to spark students’ interest. Encourage children to read as many books as possible in a week and have them track their progress. Their efforts can be sponsored by family and friends or by incentives created through local libraries and community members
Host a speaker or display a video:
  • Invite a local role model or author to discuss the impact illiteracy has had on their lives. 

Sara Sampaio is a Portuguese model well known all over the world. Teens love her. As you could hear, Sara is proud of his language, Portuguese. But she speak English language fluently among other languages. 

How literacy has been important to her model career, you see? Discuss with the students the impact of literacy in Sara's success?

Of course an author is always interesting and students are found of the authors they read. This is another idea. I practiced often in my time of teaching face to face

Open Mic Night:

  • Invite shcool community to an “Open Mic Night” – serve hot chocolate, ice creams, and pastries to facilitate an opportunity for students and adults - parents, grandparents, friends, brothers, teachers - to share things they have reading or written;
  • Inspire students to build an out-of-this-world literacy habit;
  • #Giveaway : inspire your students to give away sending books to children in Africa or Asia who can't afford books. 
  • Join the global celebration, and be sure to let the International Day of Literacy know how your students are celebrating; 
  • Share pictures and videos on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the official hashtag #LiteracyDay

Resources : 

credits : Unesco infographic 2015

Infographic 2015 : Download the Infographic (PDF)

Unesco Brochure 2015 : Download the Brochure (PDF)

Unesco launches Mobile Phones & Literacy: Empowerment in Women’s Hands at the Asian Summit on Education and Skills (ASES) 2015 in Bangalore, India on 8 and 9 September.

The theme for the day which annually raises global awareness on literacy is Literacy and Sustainable Societies. Literacy has long been recognized as a powerful accelerator of sustainable development. At the same time, progress in areas of sustainable development such as health and agriculture serve as an enabling factor in the promotion of literacy and literate environments.

Find further ideas and activities for different levels or curricula on my posts : Schools : International Literacy 2014International Literacy Day 2012 in School 

"Literacy is essential to reach the proposed sustainable development goal to promote ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all,” 

Irina Bokova


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