International Literacy Day
September 8th was proclaimed as International Literacy Day (ILD) at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on 26 October 1966. Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, and at the same time the demands for skills required for work, evolve rapidly.
CELEBRATIONS OF THE DAY IN 2019
"Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is therefore a key part of developing inclusive societies that respect “diversity” and “difference”, upholding human dignity".
Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day 2019 is an opportunity to express solidarity with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education, at which the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education was adopted.
International Literacy Day 2019 will focus on ‘Literacy and multilingualism’. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2019, the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s globalized and digitalized world will be discussed, together with their implications for literacy in policies and practice in order to achieve greater inclusion in multilingual contexts.