International Literacy Day

UNESCO proclaimed September 8 as international Literacy Day. This was enunciated in order to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies of the world. Since 1966, for the 48 years people all over the world were celebrating this as an annual event of great importance. Specially so in the developing countries, where for some countries it is still a "far cry" to make the child read and write.

"Literacy and sustainable development" go hand in hand, without which upliftment of countries from their backwardness cannot be accomplished. Unfortunately the dictionary defines "Literacy" as "ability to read write" but this alone will not uplift from the backwardness. While many of the countries of the developing world have achieved literacy to a great extend, there are still some countries which are moving very slowly.

Without literacy, there cannot be sustainable development. Cuba after the revolution in 1959, declared "one year" as the "year of literacy" and achieved their target within the period. China too after the revolution provided priority to eradicate illiteracy.

Education like health should be provided free to every citizen. But how many countries in the world today provided free education and free health?.

The number is very few. With the market economy given a priority, both education and health too have become like "commodities" implemented on commercial basis. This will only retard the illiterate people bringing them to limelight. With a high development of technology, it is much easier to make every one read and write. In this digital age, nobody should be kept behind the target. This is like providing eyesight to those who cannot see.

AAPSO urge all countries to use all their efforts to give priority to elimination of illiteracy.

AAPSO Secretariat
8th September 2014