International Literacy Day

September 8 was declared International Literacy Day by UNESCO on October 26, 1966 at 14th session of UNESCO’s General conference. It was celebrated for the first time in 1967. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Celebrations take place in several countries.
The International Literacy Day was decided by the UNESCO at 7th of November in the year 1965 to celebrate it at 8th of September every year which was celebrated first time in the year 1966. It was started celebrating all over the world to emphasize the great importance of the literacy to the individuals, society and communities.
The day is celebrated specially to rememorize the status of the literacy and adult education to the international community.


International Literacy Day 2018 will be celebrated at Saturday, on 8th of September.

International Literacy Day Celebration

According to the global monitoring report over education it is noted that one among the five man and two third women is illiterate. Some of them have minimum literacy skills, some children are still out of school and some are irregularly attending the school. South and West Asia is noted to have the lowest adult literacy rate of about 58.6%. The countries with the lowest literacy rate are Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The day is celebrated having special themes, programs and goals of education all over the world. The theme of year 2007 and 2008 celebration was the Literacy and Health (strong attention over the epidemics to prevent people from the communicable diseases like HIV, Tuberculosis, cholera and Malaria). The theme of the year 2009 and 2010 was the Literacy and Empowerment of women whereas the theme of 2011 and 2012 celebration was the Literacy and Peace.

The importance of celebrating the day is to promote the public consciousness about extraordinary value of written word and requirement to encourage the literate rate of the society. Some of the writers writing to support literacy improvement are Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, Philippe Delerm, Paul Auster, Philippe Claudel, Fatou Diome and many more.

Some of the companies, charity organizations, Global Development Research Center, Rotary International, Montblanc and the National Institute for Literacy are also involved in supporting the social literacy. Literacy shapes the life of human beings as well as builds up their cultural identity.

Why International Literacy Day is celebrated?

Celebrating the International Literacy Day is to promote the human attention towards the literacy and know their rights for social and human development. Literacy is as important as food to be alive and success. It is too necessary to eradicate the poverty, lowering the child mortality, controlling the population growth, attaining the gender equality and etc.

Literacy has the ability to raise the family status and hence the country status. It is celebrated to encourage the people towards getting continuous education and understand their responsibilities for the family, society and the country.

International Literacy Day Themes

International Literacy Day celebration takes place on a specific theme of the year in order to make it effective by executing some strategic plan to resolve the problems related to the illiteracy all over the world in many countries. Some of the year wise themes of the International Literacy Day are mentioned below:

> Theme for 2006 was “Literacy sustains development” to focus on achieving social progress.

> Theme for 2007 and 2008 was “Literacy and Health” to focus on literacy and epidemics (communicable diseases like HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, etc).

> Theme for 2009-2010 was “Literacy and Empowerment” to focus on gender equality and empowering women.

> Theme for 2011-2012 was “Literacy and Peace” to focus on importance of literacy for peace.

> The theme for 2013 was “Literacies for the 21st Century” to promote global literacy.

> Theme for 2014 was “Literacy and Sustainable Development” to promote sustainable development in the areas of social development, economic growth, and environmental integration.

> Theme for 2015 was “Literacy and Sustainable Societies”.

For Students:

Essay on Education

Women Empowerment Essay

Related Information

Illiteracy in India

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