Thursday, September 8, 2016

International Literacy Day :: 50th Anniversary :: Reading the Past Writing the Future

International Literacy Day
50th Anniversary
Reading the Past Writing the Future

This year marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day and UNESCO is celebrating it under the banner “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”. International Literacy Day 2016 celebrates and honours the past five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world. It also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.

Fifty years ago, UNESCO officially proclaimed 8 September International Literacy Day to actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.

Now International Literacy Day is celebrated worldwide, bringing together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, communities, teachers, learners and experts in the field. On this day also International Literacy Prizes are awarded to people with outstanding solutions that can drive literacy towards achieving the 2030 Education Agenda. This year the focus is on innovation.

This is the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development In this context the vision of literacy is aligned with lifelong learning opportunities with special focus on youth and adults. Literacy is a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The target is that by 2030 all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG Target 4.6).

The winners of UNESCO International Literacy Prizes were announced by the Director-General of UNESCO on 31 August 2016, following the recommendations of an international jury.

The King Sejong Literacy Prize was awarded to:
~ the Center for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development’s programme “Books for rural areas of Viet Nam’
~ the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia of the Mahidol University in Thailand for its programme ‘Patani Malay-Thai Bi/Multilingual Education Project.’

The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was awarded to:
~ the South African Department of Basic Education’s ‘Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign’
~ the Jan Shikshan Sansthan organization in Kerala, India for its programme, Vocational and Skill Development for Sustainable Development
~ the Directorate of Literacy and National Languages in Senegal for its ‘National Education Programme for Illiterate Youth and Adults through ICTs

The awards will be presented by the Director-General in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 8 September on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of International Literacy Day.

Interview with the five 2016 laureates

Previous editions
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