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International Literacy Day

On September 8, worldwide, people celebrate International Literacy Day to raise awareness about the importance of literacy.

Literacy is an important part of a country's economy as well as a person's personal life. It is the ability to read and write so that one can express ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

"Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies" is the theme of International Literacy Day (ILD), 2023.

A nation's development depends on its citizens' development, and literacy provides a platform for individuals to develop personally before contributing to the nation's development.

As part of International Literacy Day, people are reminded of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and nations, as well as the requirements to build more literate societies around the world.

In the 2011 census, a person who is seven or older and can read and write with understanding in any language is classified as illiterate and cannot read. Before 1991, children under five years old were automatically classified as illiterate in censuses.

The World Conference of Ministers of Education in Tehran instituted World Literacy Day in 1965.

At the 14th session of its General Conference, UNESCO adopted a resolution for International Literacy Day that emphasized the significance of eradicating ignorance so that people have greater access to livelihoods in the wake of the events that attracted global attention.

The resolution was adopted on October 26, 1966, stating that September 8 would be observed annually as International Literacy Day.

An observation was held to promote literacy and combat illiteracy as a tool for empowering individuals and communities, and this International Literacy Day was first celebrated in 1967.

There are a few interesting facts that everyone should know on the occasion of International Literacy Day 2023:

  1. The United Nations considers literacy a basic human right.
  2. Women have an 81% literacy rate globally, compared to 89% for men. 63% of illiterates are female.
  3. India has the largest number of illiterate adults in the world, with 287 million. Globally, this represents 37 percent of the total.
  4. One out of seven people in the world are illiterate, which represents approximately 773 million people.
  5. ILD was first observed on September 8, 1966, and it will celebrate its 57th anniversary in 2023.
  6. UNESCO has released a new literacy plan that will be implemented through 2025 and focuses on those countries with the highest literacy problems.
  7. In the last decade, the Central African Republic's youth literacy rate dropped from 60.81% to 36.36%.
  8. Illiteracy is a problem not only in developing or underdeveloped countries but also in many developed ones.
  9. According to the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), virtual schooling can also have a negative impact on students' literacy levels.
  10. The lowest literacy rate in the world is in Burkina Faso, at 12.8%.



Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.