The International Seminar on Literacy and Skills Development in a Digital Age and the Award Ceremony of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy 2017 was held on 27 September 2017 in Jining City, Shandong Province, China. The seminar was organized as part of the global celebration of International Literacy Day, which was celebrated on 8 September 2017 at UNESCO Headquarters. The theme of this year’s Literacy Day was ‘Literacy in a digital world’.
The International Seminar on Literacy and Skills Development in a Digital Age was sponsored by the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, the Jining People’s Government and organized by the Jining Education Bureau and UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education and supported by UNESCO.
On behalf of UNESCO, Mr. Robert Parua, Education Programme Specialist of UNESCO Beijing Office delivered an opening speech together with Mr. ZHANG Yuhua, Deputy Director of Jining Municipal People’s Congress, Mr. JING Ge, Deputy Inspector of the Shandong Provincial Education Department, and Mr. ZHOU Jiagui, Deputy Secretary General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO. In his opening speech and followed by keynote presentation, Mr. Parua stressed that literacy is central to the 2030 Agenda and SDG4 and calls for rethinking literacy in our increasingly digitally mediated world, and what new knowledge, skills and competencies are required, of which literacy is an essential part. He also highlighted the importance of lifelong-learning and literacy in the digital Age.
One of the three parallel session in the afternoon was organized by China Adult Education Association with support from UNESCO Beijing Office. During the presentation, Mr. Robert Parua summarized UNESCO’s 50 years’ experience in promoting literacy and presented the key recommendation on literacy: promoting Literacy as part of lifelong learning with a long-term perspective and implementing of CONFINTEA VI Belem Framework for Action.
The theme for this year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes focused on “Literacy in a digital world”. The winners of UNESCO International Literacy Prizes were announced by the Director-General of UNESCO on 30 August 2017, following the recommendations of an international jury. This year the Prize was awarded to:
- The Secretariat of Information and Communications Technologies of the city of Armenia in Colombia for its ‘AdulTICoProgram’
- The Citizens Foundation in Pakistan for its ‘Aagahi Literacy Programme for Women and Out-of-School Girls’
- ‘FunDza Literacy Trust’ in South Africa for its programme ‘Growing FunDza readers and writers’