Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Literacy Day: Literacy and Sustainable Societies – September 8

Literacy Day: Literacy and Sustainable Societies – September 8

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. At the same time, progress in areas of sustainable development, such as health and agriculture, serves as an enabling factor in the promotion of literacy and literate environments.

The recipients of the two UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prizes are:

Associação Progresso, a Mozambican nongovernmental organization recognized for its effective ‘Literacy in Local Languages, Springboard for Gender Equality’ programme in Mozambican languages. It has achieved good results by building on international standards and research, training facilitators and involving the community in designing, monitoring and improving delivery.

Sri Lanka’s National Institute of Education, is honoured for its ‘Open School Programme’, which addresses the learning needs of disadvantaged groups and offers an alternative route for out-of-school youth and adults to resume academic or technical and vocational training. It also provides continuing education to working and farming communities to improve their income generating activities. Furthermore, it takes education to the doorsteps of differently abled people who cannot attend learning centres or institutions.

The laureates of the three UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy are:

“Platform of Associations in Charge of ASAMA and Post-ASAMA”, an NGO in Madagascar that developed a comprehensive approach to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by establishing partnerships between the national authorities and 66 other NGOs. The programme provides a range of literacy courses for illiterates who account for 40% of the population, technical and vocational training at all levels and supports graduates in their efforts to find employment or start their own business. It has been replicated in Burkina Faso and Chad.

‘Juan Luis Vives School of Valparaiso’, a school in Chile, is recognized for its programme Alfabetización de las personas privadas de libertad’ (Literacy for People Deprived of Liberty), which has been providing formal basic education to prisoners so as to favour their reintegration into society once they have served their sentence. The programme has been able to achieve significant results in overcoming the learning challenges experienced by many inmates.

‘Svatobor’ an Association, in Slovakia, is honoured for its ‘Romano Barardo’ programme, which helps the Roma overcome social exclusion and enjoy their basic human rights. It applies a highly innovative concept linking environmental sustainability to nutrition and vocational training. Among other activities, the programme teaches agriculture to help members of the community improve the yield of their kitchen gardens, facilitates ecological sustainability and broadens educational options for marginalized community members helping the Roma settle and become part of local communities.

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