Editorial: International Literacy Day

The 8th of September was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on 26 October 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.
The idea of an International Literacy Day was born at the World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy, held in Teheran, Iran, on 8-19 September 1965.
The Final Report of that Conference confirmed that the development of the modern world, the accession to independence of a large number of countries, the need for the real emancipation of people and for the increasingly active and productive participation, in the economic, social and political life of human society, of the hundreds of millions of illiterate adults still exist in the world, make it essential to change national education policies.
Literacy does not just give us access to knowledge of facts or skills. Some skills and some facts can more easily be taught with pictures or video, and some things can only be learned by practice.
The purpose of universal literacy is to make better people, capable of richer lives, and able to enter fully into society, in dialogue not just with their contemporaries but with the community of everyone who has written in the languages they speak.
Shocking numbers of children in Sudan leave primary school unable to read properly.
A great deal of responsibility remains with parents. None the less, the heaviest burden falls on schools because they have to cope with the children whose parents lack the time or themselves the ability to transmit and encourage real literacy.
This is also the most important part of the work of making a reasonably fair society from which no child is excluded because they are born in poverty.
Illiteracy is the enemy within. We have to promote literacy that ensures the culture of peace in our societies.
We urge our new government to focus on building a nation of peace and tolerance, while focusing on education systems that provide opportunities for self-actualization of citizens.

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