Tomorrow, 8 September is the International Literacy Day. The International Literacy Day is celebrated annually on 8 September.
The theme of this year’s International Literacy Day on Friday, 8 September:
‘Literacy in a Digital World’
The day aims to highlight the kind of literacy skills people need to navigate this world and the literacy policies and programmes that can leverage the opportunities such a world provides.
Digital technologies, including the Internet, mobile phones, and all the other tools to manage information digitally, are fundamentally changing the way we live, learn and socialize. For many, digital technologies provide better access to information and knowledge, previously out of reach or costly, while facilitating the use of obtained information and knowledge.
“Digital technologies permeate all spheres of our lives, fundamentally shaping how we live, work, learn and socialize,”
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, message
credits: Unesco Photography contest 2017
Bokova emphasizes the importance of rethinking and improving skills required to take part in the digital world:
“These new technologies are opening vast new opportunities to improve our lives and connect globally—but they can also marginalize those who lack the essential skills, like literacy, needed to navigate them.”
Gender disparities in literacy rates
credits: Unesco e-Atlas of Literacy
Literacy rates continue to rise from one generation to the next. Yet according to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are still 750 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women.
These numbers are a stark reminder of the work ahead to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 -Quality Education - and 5 - Gender Equality - the Education 2030 targets.
On 8 September, 2017 a global event will be organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, with the overall aim "to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly digitally-mediated societies, and to explore effective literacy policies and programmes that can leverage the opportunities that the digital world provides."
credits: © UNESCO/Taweepon Kingkaew
The 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes awards ceremony will also take place to recognize and reward excellent literacy practices from around the world in connection with this year’s theme.
In addition to greater data on basic literacy and numeracy, we also need data on digital literacy, including data on the digital divide, with some people having less access than others to ICTs, less opportunity to use ICTs and lacking the empowerment to incorporate ICTs in their work and everyday life.
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
With the evolution of knowledge and skills in the digital world, the meaning of literate also changes. In an effort to close the gap in literacy skills and decrease the inequalities, the 2017 International Literacy Day will focus on the challenges and prospects in endorsing literacy in the digital world.
Literacy among Youth
credits: Unesco e-Atlas of Literacy
How possible is that if there are roughly 750 million adults and 264 million school-aged children (not in school) that do not have the basic literacy skills.
In addition we need data on digital literacy, including data on the digital divide, with some people having less access than others to ICTs, less opportunity to use ICTs and lacking the empowerment to incorporate ICTs in their work and everyday life.
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.
However, we live in digital world so the focus on ICT in the SDGs reflects the importance of such skills for workforce development. Their measurement, however, is a complex task for three reasons.
- Help your students by engaging them in an extra ICT literacy skills in the classroom and on the Internet. Explore digital resources;
- Inspire students to build an out-of-this-world literacy habit;
- Display the video above and discuss with your students the importance of Digital Literacy;
- Encourage your students to visit the UNESCO website to learn more about the organization's theme for 2017, "Literacy in a Digital World;
- Join the global celebration, and be sure to let the International Day of Literacy know how your students are celebrating Literacy Day in Digital World;
- Share pictures and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the official hashtag #ILD17
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