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Encouraging and supporting literacy everywhere, September 8th marks International Literacy Day. Literacy is a blessing often taken for granted. Reading is essential in our daily lives. Navigating through the world without being able to read or write is challenging and is a blockade for experiencing so many things. The ability to read and write isn’t only important for individuals, but societies as a whole.

Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 771 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.

This year’s International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide under the theme, Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces and will be an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.

School closures and disruptions caused by the pandemic have likely driven learning losses and drop-outs. This is especially true for vulnerable populations. Through the celebration of International Literacy Day, UNESCO calls on all actors in the field of education and beyond to re-think the role of literacy,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, nearly 24 million learners might never return to formal education, out of which, 11 million are projected to be girls and young women.


  • There are thought to be more than 750 million adults around the world who cannot read.

  • 90% – the percentage of the literacy rate globally for all males.

  • 82.7% – the percentage of literacy rate globally for all females.

Studies show that giving the brain a daily workout reading, writing and working with numbers keeps brain cells healthy as we age, reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life. Knowing how to read, write and work with numbers are critical skills for jobs with opportunities to advance up the social-economic ladder. Literacy breaks the cycle of poverty, one life at a time.



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