International Literacy Day 2020 celebration

The National level function to celebrate 54th International Literacy Day was organized by the Ministry of Education here today through online mode. Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Education was the Chief Guest on this occasion. Minister of State for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre was Guest of Honour the occasion. The Message of the Director-General, UNESCO was read by UNESCO Representative on the occasion.  Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy Smt Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.

International Literacy Day 2020 celebration included a talk on ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’ by Prof. J.P. Dubey, Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, University of Delhi to determine the future course of action which needs to be taken to eradicate the scourge of illiteracy in the country.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal said that Literacy is the first step in every individual’s life in the endless journey of acquiring knowledge and enlightenment through formal ways. The Minister said that every human being in this civilized world has the right to be literate. It opens up new vistas of development of humanism where an individual can transform into a noble soul with dignity and self-respect. Literacy is an accelerator of development enabling individuals to access and avail economic, political, and social benefits not only to empower themselves to lead a quality life but also to contribute towards national and international development. In a broader perspective, literacy is a vital means to realize the goals of national progress, universal brotherhood, and sustainable development.

The Minister further said the International Literacy Day 2020 celebration is an occasion for the nations all over the world to reaffirm their commitment and resolve to eradicate illiteracy. It is a moment to consolidate the gains made in the area of literacy, share and learn from National and International experiences, build cooperation among stakeholders, and raise public awareness about the significance of literacy.

The Minister informed that this year’s International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on ‘Literacy teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’ especially on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, it mainly focuses on youths and adults. ILD, 2020 provides an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how innovative and effective pedagogies and teaching methodologies can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond.

Ministry of Education has made efforts for eradication of illiteracy in the country over the years resulting in achieving substantial progress towards improving access to adult education and learning but still India has a sizeable number of illiterates which have to be literate in attaining a target of achieving 100% literacy before the target year 2030.

Shri Pokhriyal called upon all stakeholders including State Governments, Civil Society Organizations, Corporate Bodies, intelligentsia, and my fellow citizens to join hands in transforming India to a fully literate society making our country Saakshar Bharat-Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

While addressing the participants ShriDhotre said that the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi once observed, “Illiteracy is a sin and shame and must be eradicated”.He further said that literacy can play an important role in empowering, transforming, and improving the quality of life of individuals as well as society, especially women and those belonging to disadvantaged groups of society. He added that there is an urgent need to focus attention ensuring that everyone is brought into the fold of literacy and formal education to catch up so that we can move faster towards the national goal.

Shri Dhotre emphasized that literacy need not be viewed as an end in itself.   This is particularly relevant to our country as a large part of our population is under 35 years of age.  This young population, entering into a world of work without adequate levels of education and vocational skills will prevent us from taking full advantage of the demographic dividend. We have to think about how the youth can be brought into the ambit of education and lifelong learning. 

ShriDhotre called upon all stakeholders to join hands and strive until the goal of transforming India into a literate and sustainable society is achieved. He wished all success to all the participating organizations in their endeavor to achieve total literacy.

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News Source: Press Information Bureau

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