On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. UNESCO declared International Literacy Day on November 17, 1965. First celebrated in 1966, it aims to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. As per the Unesco reports on Bloggersunite, some 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 72.1 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.
This year, 8th September - International Literacy Day will put the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development. Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.
In Gujarat, Government charted out plans to enroll 525,000 girls in the state in Kanya Kelavani (educating girl child) drive. It covered 1,865 routes and as a result, 100% enrollment and reduction in the drop out rate from 40% to 2.29% is achieved. It foresees a vision 2010 that, when Gujarat celebrates its golden Jubilee, there should be a zero - ‘0’ percent drop out rate in Gujarat (Literally No Drop Outs). Also Bal Pravesh (child admissions) mid-day meal schemes and Nirogi Bal (healthy children) schemes implemented. The Campaign for ‘Education for All’ is implemented with Literacy initiatives for teachers and students, aiming to increase the capability in writing, reading and calculating to enhance literacy skills. (You can look forth for more on Government website here)
It is the need of the hour to understand that Education is a process complete with Exposure and Experiences and Experiences after all, are the best teachers in Life! The most important factor is developing reading habits which is almost neglected part in the life of a student as he mugs his way through the lessons to get the scores. As such, to be illiterate is lack of ability to read and write. Words and printed symbols carry the message that a person understand as their eyes move across to read the written matter.If you are literate, educate at least one child who needs to learn the basics or at least one can try to encourage and cultivate reading habits among children who are lost in textual lessons.
Join Kidsfreesouls mission to promote Literacy! Be a HIP (Home Instructional Programmer) with Swagat Children Library Worksheets online! Help kids - wherever you live! You can even join the 'Teach India' campaign of Times of India.
Btw, here's winner of 2009 UNESCO Literacy Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Literacy:
Khabar Lahariya - Nirantar's Project -www.nirantar.net
Extract from Khabar Lahariya - Me and my bicycle
Listen, listen sister a village story full of delight
Where women ride cycles come day or come night
They feel no shame or shyness in learning to ride
It takes hard work not to fall off the side
First I used to sit at the back
Now my beloved does the same
Look how my world has changed, my sweet
You, who thought I belonged at your feet.
Visit Nirantar's website: www.nirantar.net
- ilaxi patel
Author of Guardian of Angels: A practical guide to Joyful Parenting