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Why literacy?

Good morning, Netizens...

Today, September 8, 2010 is International Literacy Day. I was pleasantly-surprised the other day when so many people responded to the message thread “Why Bother Learning to Spell?”. Endorsed by UNESCO, this day is proclaimed for disseminating literacy awareness amongst world's illiterate community.

Adopted in the year 1965 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Literacy Day is observed every year, on this day with a new mission.

Since its very inception, this day became a special occasion to mark literacy awareness and many educational programs feature this particular day in their year round events. But in the year 1990, the United Nations General Assembly provided a bolster to global literacy by proclaiming the year as International Literacy Year. The special year marked the ongoing commitment of the world community to boost and support literacy as a key to personal progress and to the socio-economic development of nations.

Despite many, diverse efforts, the literacy rate across the world looks alarming. According to UN analysis there are close to four billion literate people world wide and some 776 million people lack minimum literacy skills, that mean one in five adults are illiterate; 75 million children did not attend school and many more attend irregularly or are drop outs. Almost 35 countries have a literacy rate of less than 50% and a population of more than 10 million people who are illiterate. 85% percent of the world's illiterate population dwells in these countries, and two-thirds are fairer sex.

What literacy is all about is developing persons who can, with understanding, both read and write a short statement relevant to routine life, and capable of analytical understanding of mankind's condition in the world. Literacy is a means of personal liberation, development and delivering individuals educational efforts.

While making the entire world literate may seem a far-fetched goal, without making the entire world literate we cannot expect global development.

On this special day, let us take an oath to make our country as well as the world literate. It is possible if we take the very first step ourselves by sparing some time for uneducated people living around us we may see literacy around the world in our lifetime.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.