The first ever International Literacy Day was declared at the 14th session of UNESCO’s general conference in 1966 and since that day it has been celebrated annually on September 8, in an aim to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals and communities around the world.
The world is celebrating the 51st Literacy Day this year. This day is celebrated in an effort to combat these problems and to provide a quality education for all. Through the course of the years, the UN has given this day special themes keeping in line with the current environment. International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults.
International Literacy Day 2020 will provide an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how innovative and effective education and teaching methodologies can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond. The Day will also give an opportunity to analyse the role of educators, as well as effective policies, systems, governance and measures that can support educators and learning.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the proper flow of our society as a whole. For children education has been severely disrupted as majority of the school around the world have been closed since the start of the pandemic. According to the World Literacy Foundation, more than 190 countries closed their school which affected the education of approximately 1.27 billion children and youth. Most classes and lectures are being conducted online and though that does make a difference, the question of what the future holds in terms of the process of education in unknown.
For celebration of International Literacy Day, the UN are organizing online seminars and talks that go over many relevant questions. There will be two meetings held, one about the ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: the role of educators and changing education’ and another on ‘The Laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2020’.