UNESCO calls on stakeholders to mobilise for literacy

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja


The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay has called on all stakeholders in the world of education to fully mobilise so as to make the ideals of a literate global society becomes more of a reality.

Azoulay made the call in her message on the occasion of the 2018 International Literacy Day.

The UNESCO Director General also said traditional literacy and numeracy skills are no longer enough as new skills such as information and communication technology are becoming increasingly necessary.

A new challenge is now being added to this: a world in flux, where the pace of technological innovation is continuously accelerating. In order to find a place in society, get a job, and respond to social, economic and environmental challenges”

Preparing young people and adults for jobs, the majority of which have not yet been invented, is a challenge. Accessing lifelong learning, taking advantage of pathways between different forms of training, and benefiting from greater opportunities for mobility has thus become indispensable.”

Azoulay noted that, the theme of this year’s International Day, “Literacy and Skills Development”, focuses on evolving approach to education.

According to her, “UNESCO is actively engaged in the redefinition of literacy policies and encourages innovative educational practices. It also supports various forms of public and private sector cooperation, since only a comprehensive understanding of the education cause can enable an appropriate response to the needs of a world that seems to be reinventing itself every day”

The UNESCO DG emphasised that considerable progress has been made in all regions of the world, and millions of men and women have been lifted from ignorance and dependency through broad-based movement of literacy and the democratization of access to education.

“Today, worldwide, more than 260 million children and adolescents are not enrolled in school; six out of ten children and adolescents – around 617 million – do not acquire the minimum skills in literacy and numeracy; 750 million young people and adults still cannot read and write – and among them, two-thirds are women” Azoulay added.

September 8th marks UNESCO’s International Literacy day. The day raises awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and literacy.

The International Literacy Day was first held in 1966 and it has now become part of the UN’s sustainable development goals program.