International Literacy Day 2021: History, importance, theme, celebration this year

World Literacy Day 2021 will be celebrated today, September 8, across the world to mark the relevance and significance of literacy for all individuals.

International Literacy Day 2021: History, importance, theme, celebration this year International Literacy Day 2021
Vagisha Kaushik | Sep 8, 2021 - 9:15 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: International Literacy Day 2021 will be celebrated today across the globe. This day is celebrated every year on September 8 to remind the world of the importance of literacy for every individual, society and nation and the need to make efforts toward making more literate communities.

World Literacy Day 2021: History

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared September 8 the International Literacy Day in the year 1966. In 1967, the World Literacy Day was celebrated for the first time.

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World Literacy Day Theme 2021

This year, the theme for the International Literacy Day is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.

According to UNESCO, about 773 million youth and adults lack basic literacy skills. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the inequalities in access to literacy learning opportunities. While efforts have been made to have continuity in learning such as online education or distance learning; it has further led to a digital divide. Many do not have access to the internet or even electricity.

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“International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 will explore how literacy can contribute to building a solid foundation for a human-centred recovery, with a special focus on the interplay of literacy and digital skills required by non-literate youth and adults,” UNESCO said on its official website.

UNESCO believes that literacy drives sustainable development and is central to a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Literacy Day 2021 celebration

This year, on World Literacy Day 2021, UNESCO is hosting a webinar online from September 8 to September 9 at webcast.unesco.org/events/2021-09-ILD/. Interested participants can register through the official website of UNESCO.

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Every year, UNESCO confers international literacy prizes to programmes which promote literacy during its official ceremony. This year, two prizes will be given to three programmes each.

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